The designer and artist, Abeer Abu Ras: The design motifs reflect the identity of man

Whatever the medium that carries the inscriptions, the latter gives expression to the identities of the peoples, their ways of life and the nature of their regions. The inscriptions are symbols loaded with a load of history and geography. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in particular, inscriptions are important, and they have been a source of research of foreign orientalists since the first half of the nineteenth century, and they are still admired by the local environment and by official authorities.
Abeer Abu Ras, a Saudi interior designer, plastic artist and researcher, is influenced by the local environment which she reflects through her work. In the following dialogue, the designer talks about the inscriptions that distinguish the art of classical Saudi design, and how to derive from the decorative patterns to the regions of the Kingdom, and the rest of these inscriptions in the contemporary Saudi home?

Saudi interior designer, illustrator and researcher Abeer Abu Ras

The decorations are many shapes and patterns in Islamic art; What is the nature of the design motifs with many flowers in the Saudi heritage interior architecture?

The environment and the elements present in it, whether plants or not, have a great impact on the design, and the decorations, colors and elements it contains. Man is influenced by what is around him, whether in nature or as a result of his contact with people from different civilizations. For example, in the traditional Saudi interior architecture, women in the Asir region decorate the roofs of houses with multiple shapes and colors that reflect the nature of the place and the elements present in it by Al-Qatt Al-Asiri, the art that shows adornments that continue women’s creativity in design, choosing colors and merging with each other. In addition, the wooden doors in traditional Saudi architecture differ in patterns of decoration and colors between regions, and they reflect a different identity for each region. The plant motifs of palm leaves and fronds, rosettes of various shapes and sizes, and the inscription motifs also represent some of the patterns repeated in traditional Saudi architecture.

An example of the inscriptions in the art of Al-Qatt Al-Asiri for women

There are also stucco decorations, within the framework of the arts found in traditional architecture, and in interior spaces, such as: Al-Wajar, which is the place for preparing coffee in the councils, and note that some elements of stucco decorations based on Islamic art, and some of these inscriptions are formed in frames bearing decorative units within, single or repeating. In general, traditional architecture is inspired by themes and materials from the environment and the local environment.

The traditional inscriptions are still admired by the local community and the official authorities

geometric lines

How are these decorations divided by Saudi regions?

The decorations vary in the regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; In this context, Al-Qatt Al-Asiri notes, as I said, the art dominated by geometric lines, and the wood roshan in the Hijaz region, which is inspired by multiple patterns and decorations, such as: Islamic geometric motifs, and the doors in the Najd region which in their decoration are affected by elements of the environment, such as: flowers and plants, Show aesthetics through drilling, ironing, coloring and other techniques. It is worth noting that the texture of some decorations is a repetition of the drawings of triangles, squares, lines and overlapping circles to create various aesthetic patterns and inscriptions, in addition to the petals, star shapes, oblique inscriptions and the sharp-angled inscriptions. refractory decoration that occurs within the framework of traditional wood carving, and note that some decorations are executed by nails on the wood. Geometric decorations also appear, with their straight, parallel, circular and zigzag lines, as well as interwoven and overlapping circles, triangles and squares, covering spaces with mastery and skill. It is made of wood and metal…

Geometric inscriptions on a wooden door

Textiles, wood carvings and stucco work

Examples of Islamic inscriptions carried by traditional materials

What remains of these decorations in the design of the contemporary Saudi home?

Decorative units are still visible in many elements of contemporary homes, such as: fabric, wood carvings and plastering… There are also some traditional products that are still used in homes, such as: carpets, wicker products and sadu (traditional Bedouin weaving) . Some also imitate traditional decorations by adding them to the designs of the Majlis. The stucco reliefs are also painted in the interior design, and are skillfully executed by craftsmen. In addition, the traditional woodwork and elements of the Hejaz region appear, such as windows and others.

Sadu art

How do you reflect the heritage environment in your work?

A painting by the designer and plastic artist Abeer Abu Ras

As an interior designer and visual artist, I see that the most beautiful works of art and design are those that mimic and are influenced by the surrounding environment. At the beginning of my artistic career, my works imitated reality and displayed various traditional elements, such as: jewelry and traditional architectural elements, such as: gates and triangles. Then I began to tend towards abstraction in my work, with the proximity of various environmental elements, such as: the palm tree and its parts and lines. My first solo exhibition was to show a group of paintings of artistic studies of the palm tree as a design element. I also worked on research projects to study the impact of some environmental elements such as: plants on the users of the indoor environment. I am currently investigating the effect of some local natural elements on individuals.

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