Specially created oil paintings reflecting on gratitude by artist Soniya Ahmed unveiled in Dubai.
GSA MLitt in Fine Art Practice student drew on personal experiences in award-winning submission.
Prize is part of “Gratitude: Christian and Muslim Perspectives”, a project chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui of the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh
Artist Soniya Ahmed believes she has much to be grateful for. An Iraqi Kurdish student who moved to the UK in 2010, Soniya drew on her personal experiences in her award-winning submission for the first Issachar Fund Art Prize, a prize which asked artists to create work reflecting the theme of gratitude.
Soniya’s oil paintings,
Painting by Issachar Award winning
which have been unveiled in Dubai both express her own gratitude and at the same time show how to embrace the power of gratitude. Through the paintings, which represent a broad swathe of the world’s nations, religions, philosophy, thoughts and art,viewers are able to recreate the experience in their minds, remembering and understanding gratitude.
“Gratitude is the surest pathway both to success and happiness,” says Soniya who is currently studying for a MLitt in Fine Art Practice at The Glasgow School of Art. “It can change your life because it makes you appreciate what you have rather than what you don’t have. It can change your life. It is the single most powerful source of inspiration that any person can tap into if they simply just stop and pay attention to the simplistic beauty and miracle of life.”
“My experience in Kurdistan Iraq has taught me a lot
about the importance of having gratitude in my life.”
“My experience in Kurdistan,
Iraq has taught me a lot about the importance of having gratitude in my life” she adds. “In today's world is very easy to be ungrateful and to want things that we don’t have. Everywhere we turn we’re reminded of ‘how little have’ rather than how much we have to be grateful for. Most people hinge their happiness and gratitude on achievement rather than making it a platform.”
TheIssachar Fund Art Prize is a collaboration between the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh and The Glasgow School of Art. It is part of ‘Gratitude: Christian and Muslim Perspectives’, a project chaired by Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh and regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day and Moral Maze.The project aims to bring together scholarly voices exploring the concept of gratitude through academic workshops and community events.
Soniya Ahmed with one of her painting that were unveiled in Dubai
“The Issachar Fund Art Prize on the theme of gratitude gave me a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the GSA,”says Professor Siddiqui. “The shortlist was strong but Soniya’s personal story and stunning artwork stood out. Her paintings convey the very essence of gratitude as a complex virtue of gift, humility and reverence.”
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