DUBAI: A Lebanese patron has launched a website to give Islamic art made by creatives Hilda and Lena Kelekian, who are of Armenian, Cypriot and Lebanese descent, international exposure.
Anthony Azoury launched islamicart.me to expose new clients to the Orthodox Christian creatives who create artwork with verses from the Qur’an.
“Hilda has been getting a lot of interest worldwide,” Azoury told Arab News. “She has a lot of clients from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and all the Gulf region – and even in Europe. So, I thought it would be a good idea to finally get her very unique art pieces (out there).”
Hilda paints on goat and cow skin, while Lena is a ceramicist.
In an interview with Arab News, Hilda, who has been painting for over 30 years, said that she contacts imams to make sure that her writing, her art and her techniques are correct.
“I find melody in Arabic letters. When I write, I don’t follow the schools of Arabic letters like the school of Kufi. I have my own (style) in the way I write,” she said, referring to a style of Arabic calligraphy. “I know all the rules and I am in touch with multiple sheikhs so that when I am drawing I obey the rules of the Islamic sect.”
“When I open the Qur’an to copy a verse, I have to obey the style. There are little details that I must obey. I must be clean when I am painting,” she added.
Hilda, who is an award-winning artist, creates and mixes her own paint that makes the colors visible on animal skin.
It takes her a minimum of one month to finish one painting. “To be more productive, I start so many paintings together,” she said.
The website, which went live last month, ships the artworks to countries around the world.
Hilda has exhibited her work in the US, Spain, Venice, France, China and more.
Lena is a multidisciplinary visual artist, iconographer, art therapist and ceramicist.
She has hosted 17 solo exhibitions in 13 countries and has taken part in more than 202 collective exhibitions in 62 countries.
Her work is on display in 32 institutions around the world, including in London and Italy.