Islamic artist Siddiqa Juma has never been busier. She is travelling far and wide showcasing her work and championing women in art, inspired by the faith and devotion that brings stunning vibrancy to all her pieces.
Her achievements in the last couple of years alone have been breathtaking, and include:
- Winning Best Painting at the Global Art Awards in the United Arab Emirates, out of 300 nominees.
- Celebrating Eid at Trafalgar Square in the heart of London by creating a collaborative painting, Unity for London, with the help of London Mayor Sadiq Khanand members of the public.
- Showing her painting Diversity at the Venezia Exhibition of the Nations in Venice: “Proud and privileged to have Contemporary Islamic Art displayed in this most spectacular of places.”
- Exhibiting at the world-renowned Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea at the first-ever London Modest Fashion Week.
- Presenting her painting Unity for Manchester to the Lord and Lady Mayoress of Manchester after the Manchester bombing. It now resides in the Lord Mayor’s Suite of Manchester Town Hall.
- Shipping her latest commission to a private collector in the United States.
- Speaking about the importance of diversity and unity in London at a special interfaith event, The Bankside Grand Iftar, and exhibiting some of her paintings inside Southwark Cathedral.
- Receiving Artist of the Year Award at the Muslim Lifestyle Show.
- Holding her first solo exhibition in Dubai in 2017, returning in 2018 for #SIKKA art fair and to exhibit at the Al Serial Cultural Foundation for Islamic Economy Week.
- Spearheading the concept behind an art wall in London as part of MasterPeace, the international peace initiative.
Women in Islamic art
In what she described as “an absolute highlight of my career” she has also addressed an audience at the British Museum with a group of women in the creative arts, all coming together to discuss the role of women in Islamic art and society. On International Women’s Day she urged women: “You are not limited from fulfilling your calling by reason of your gender. I stand in solidarity with all women, today and always.”
Guided by the Qur’an and Islamic tradition, Siddiqa creates art that celebrates a rich religious and cultural heritage. Throughout her life she has been seeking some form of expression for her faith, including writing, illustrating and producing Islamic children’s books, and creating animated series that teach universal morals drawn from the teachings of her faith.
Act of devotion
It is in painting, however, where Siddiqa has found the conduit for her devotion. Her pieces are characterised by successive layers of vivid colour and intricate repetitive patterns and calligraphy, which draw to mind the ancient illuminated Qur’ans now proudly housed in museums around the world. The vibrancy of her work showcases her unending eagerness to engage with Islam. Creating these pieces is an act of devotion in itself, a stand-in for meditation. As her style has evolved, she has found herself fixated on Hajj and her work communicates her yearning to embark on that journey.