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Zina Al-Shukri

The Something
artist statement

Everything in life is Relationships. Relationship to another person, or animal, or food, or the Divine, or art, or community, family, home, sex, work, money, the Earth, our own Body, and so forth. My art practice emphasizes the importance of creating a physical, mental and soulful relationship to another being through live portraiture. I feel honored with the gift to dance with another’s psyche, to gently sway back and forth, between their darkness and their light.

My practice is an energetic, emotional intercourse. Looking into their eyes, listening to their breath moving in and out, their voice vibrating into my ears, observing the ongoing shifting of body and hands. They tell me things I will never repeat out loud. Words about family wounding and ancestral trauma are spilled along with tears. I attune myself as they open up to the vast richness of their emotional landscape. I become a channel, receiving then pushing out, stroking, splashing, gliding, and smearing their richness onto the paper. The tangible materials of paint and charcoal are accoutrements to the goldmine of energy a person emits. Feelings are the main material. Everyone exudes their own color field, their own specific vibrational frequency, and I get the joy of illuminating this.

I choose these people as much as they choose me, through energetic alignment and reciprocity.

Creating these active visualizations of connectivity also helps soothe my own abandonment wounds, its why I started making these paintings in the first place.

We’re all in this together, and we all deserve to be met with grace. It feels good to be seen, included, heard, valued, respected, and understood. My art practice provides this directly for the people I paint and indirectly for viewers. It is a heart-centered act of care to lovingly nudge and shift our collective consciousness, person by person.