Influenced by her British and Pakistani roots, award-winning artist Maaida Noor takes inspiration from the incredibly rich and diverse heritage of Islamic arts and the cultural values of the Muslim world. Noor is a student of both the ancient and modern world and she is continuing a tradition of art based on nature, geometrical beauty and the Sacred. She combines art forms from the ‘Maghreb’ (Northwest Africa) region, Medieval Fatimids to the Safavid Persians and the Mughal Indians to create work that she believes calls us back to our Beloved and to our essential oneness with nature.
“Art for me is a form of prayer – I use the verses of Sacred Islamic scripture to remember our human connection with the Eternal. This inspires me to create, and what better opportunity and method to contemplate then to create a sanctuary that utilises the harmonic geometry in nature, the arabesque patterns inside calligraphy and to use colours to speak through my brushes”
Noor started her career in 2009 when the Mica Gallery in Knightsbridge, London showcased 20 small pieces of her calligraphy launching her to the art scene. Since then Noor has had her art displayed across the UK in public and private exhibition and galleries – including in Battersea Power Station, the Three Faiths Forum, various auction houses, and corporate and private collections including members of the Jordanian Royal Family. She continues to inspire and reach the masses through collaboration with global brands such as: Jo Malone, Molton Brown, AERIN, Estee Lauder, HP Latex and many more.
Noor’s journey into the world of geometry and traditional Islamic illumination first started in 2014 when she began studying at the Art of Islamic Pattern then later at the PSTA in London. These courses opened a door to a whole new world: Noor was intrigued by the precision and delicacy of the complex patterns and intense history of the art itself. Her nature to challenge herself drove her to make miniature versions of these patterns and eventually create her own interpretations and arrangements. This journey is ongoing as she continues to explore the deeper meanings and hidden sciences of the subject.
Having also obtained The Open Programme diploma at 'The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts' Noor knows how to use traditional methods; however her appreciation of these historic practices is combined with a desire for self-expression, a love of watercolour as a medium and an acute sense of colour. The result is a mix of ancient disciplines with vivid colours and a modern expressive technique. This integration of verses of Islamic scripture, sacred geometry and biomorphic patterns, and an expressive watercolour medium is unique to Noor.
In many ways Noor is an artist of the modern renaissance and her work continues to evolve a discipline that has proven to be timeless.