Iman Mahmud’s Wall Pictures
Dr. Alfred Körblein, Nuremberg
The title wall pictures of Iman Mahmud’s paintings refers to layers of paint on old walls. As the paint weathers and
flakes off over the years, old walls witness the past and tell stories from long ago.
In her paintings, Iman applies layers of paint and then scratches her drawings (characters, symbols, lines) in the top layer, thereby uncovering the color below and creating the effect of lightness and liveliness of her writing. She writes arabic letters in endless succession which reminds of the use of cylinder seals in Babylonian times. For Iman this process of writing has a spiritual dimension, similar to the use of mantras in meditation.
The colour black dominates. It is the colour of indian ink in arabic calligraphy. But black is also the color of the charred ruins of burnt down houses in Iman's home city of Baghdad. Black is the color of destruction.
Iman’s wall pictures get under the skin, they are lively and vibrant. A dance of shapes, lines and calligraphic elements. They are charcterised by an unmistakeably individual style between tradition and modernity.