‘Coffee Morning talks about my daily morning routine either after a kayaking trip to the mangroves or after reading poetry and newspapers online while I’m having coffee.
I am on my sofa, but my eyes and mind are going everywhere around the planet, and through the Net. Our globe has become smaller and strongly connected.
For example, when I posted a Wordsworth poem on my Facebook page about daffodils, a set of verse I enjoy greatly, by coincidence my neighbour was reading the same poem and she came to knock on my door the second day with a bunch of daffodils brought from her garden in London.
The large size painting Coffee Morning represents my daily world amidst the expanse of the mangroves. The fish bowl, the sofa, pillow, the carpet are all features of my sitting room. The crab on the melting clock represents the time I have spent in the mangroves of Victoria and the UAE. The melting clock is a motif borrowed from Salvador Dali, while the crab is actually a familiar companion when I sketch from my kayak. Once whilst sketching a bird, I realised the presence of a small crab! I place written texts on the hair, the bird, the cup of coffee on the right hand side of the picture and on the sofa, the small vase with the daffodil flowers on the left hand side. On the sofa there are written texts on the world map upon the sofa. The texts are written in two languages: Arabic and English, based on selected poems and personal thoughts. The outline words which shape the flowers and vase are excerpts of William Wordsworth’s poetry about daffodil flowers.
“For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure flies
And dances with the daffodils”
Mangroves and sea grass are very effective in reducing the carbon from the air and providing us with the oxygen. The tree provides great rejuvenating energy as they are nurseries of many hidden lives: baby fish, birds, turtles, colourful crabs and more. Yet just over the fringe of the tree cover is the bustle of the encroaching urban life. I have found the mangroves a source of power, beauty, energy and simplicity.
Coffee Morning with the Orchestra, 2015-2018
I keep adding different water colour sketches from a variety of mangrove locations). 50 water colour sketches come directly from the mangroves. Painted from a kayak, Zahidah gathers 30 sketches as a one-piece mosaic, each upon a music stand gathered together as if an orchestra. The conductor’s music book contains around 20 water colour sketches.
The large size painting ’Coffee Morning’, representing my daily world amidst the expanse of the mangroves, is the ‘conductor’ of her display. The fish bowl, the sofa, pillow, the carpet are in my sitting room area. The crab on the melting clock represents the time I’ve been in the mangroves in the UAE and in Victoria, Australia. However, the melting clock motif I borrowed from Salvador Dali, while the crab was actually there near me in my kayak. While I was sketching a bird, I realized the presence of a small crab! I place written texts on the hair, the bird, the cup of coffee on the right hand side of the picture and on the sofa, the small vase with the daffodil flowers on the left hand side and on the sofa and written texts on the world map on the sofa. The texts are written in two languages: Arabic and English, based on selected poems and own thoughts.
Emotions have played an important role in the production of this series; the process of painting has actually been a form of art therapy, a kind of meditation. I feel deeply connected to mangrove areas and my sense of responsibility for them is akin to looking after a family and protecting them. I may not be able to stop the war in my homeland of Syria, but I can run a campaign to protect the mangroves and by that way the Earth. Mangroves sites are a heaven for birds, fish, crabs and more and are considered to be the Earth’s lung and protector of our shores. Mangroves and sea grass are very effective in reducing the carbon from the air and providing us oxygen, and so it’s madness to harm them. Not all the mangroves in the world are protected as the development and the pollution is the major threat of the mangroves. I have worked almost entirely from my kayak in the mangroves, sketching water colours upon different types of paper.