Farah is a visual artist from Kuwait and is currently based in Chicago. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications. Farah is currently enrolled in a Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counselling program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In her studio practice, she works with various mediums including photography, video, performance, installation, projection/light and other mixed media materials. Working in both urban and natural landscapes, the artist uses these landscapes to engage in conversations with captured frames, performances, and installations. The artist had an early background in street photography and the processes of creative improvisation which have influenced her current conceptual and creative approach, where Farah is inspired by unexpected results. The main themes that she works with are socio-cultural topics influenced by intersectional feminism and social justice theories, and existential questioning inspired by theories of philosophies of Sufism and Zen-Buddhism Philosopher Alan Watts.
Through her artwork, she questions ways of erasing socio-cultural conditioning, by looking at societal gendered trauma, particularly rooted within her experience as an Arab woman, and debates ways of defeating silence and overcoming boundaries of a restricting culture. In a censored society, she uses her artwork as a platform to creatively express her concerns about gender roles and considers ways of reversing them. This is often reflected through the traditional Muslim-Arab garments that appear in her work, which serve as a gendered soft textile architectural structure and become an extension of the female body in relation to their contextual landscape. Other themes such as existential questioning appear in her work through exploring ways of being, conscious and mindful processes of making, and reflecting on the “I” in all of us. Farah attempts to capture the portals and space between two or more worlds. Her art making process engages personal memories while reflecting on present surroundings and involves others sharing similar stories.
As an artist and art therapist, the bridge between both practices is activism. Farah uses her art therapy practice as a space of research to inform her studio practice and develop a deeper understanding of raw human emotions in relation to socio-cultural constructs, as that is the underlying motif of her studio practice. She also looks at links between relational psychology and relational aesthetics, along with social practices.
Farah has attended artist residencies locally and internationally, from Per|Form at Contemporary Art Platform in Kuwait, to Crossway Foundation UK’s Journey to Turkey. Farah is an Award winning artist, she is the Laureate winner of the International Women Photographers Award 2017. Her book titled In-between the Skyline of Kuwait City has been published by Kuwait National Council of Culture, Art and Letters. She is also an exhibiting artist, where she had her first solo exhibition and book launch in Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait. She has also exhibited at JAAM Gallery in Dubai, Parfitt Gallery in London, Ka Fotoğraf Atölyesi in Ankara Turkey, E-Werk in Friegburg Germany, Centro Cultural CEEE Eirico Verissimo in Porto Alegre Brazil, SITES Gallery at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, and in the Bolivia Biennale in Centro Cultural De Santa Cruz.