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Shenaz Mahomed

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

Artist 143 Shenaz Mahomed Paper art Islamic Identity

Shenaz Mahomed (born 1992) is a South African multi media artist who specializes in hand cut paper. Her work follows her own experiences of being a Muslim woman and the stereotypes and perceptions that surround the Islamic religion in South Africa.

Her intricately hand cut designs on paper, echo those found in Islamic architecture, decorative items and manuscripts..

Shenaz Mahomed in her own words of her work mentions, “Drawing from a daily interaction with Islamic text, my experience with it is innate. Words are read, performed and spoken timeously much like a repetitious pattern, in a way of order and structure. I depict text as pattern by mimicking the written style and structure that the original words were delivered in to emphasize the importance of how something is said rather than what is being said.”

Her work holds an ‘intertextual’ undertone which reflects how the multiple textures create a conversation and by forming create added meaning to words and language.

Mahomed uses her artwork to push the boundaries of what contemporary Islamic art is traditionally supposed to be, and in doing so highlights how Islamophobia and racism affect the lives of ordinary people.

The laborious process of hand cutting intricate Islamic patterns is a nod to her heritage but the new concepts that Mahomed incorporates in her art reveals her concern with what it means to be a Muslim, South African, Indian woman.

Sources Consulted: Priest Gallery, the flesh made word, artist reflection


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