One of the prominent features of surrealism is the unexpected, illogical juxtapositions created by drawing visuals from the subconscious terrain of the mind. Making connections between separate concepts and entities, surrealist artists use personal iconography to create symbolic images that can be interpreted in a number of ways. Surreal art is called dream-like because dreams are probably the most cryptic, confusing messages that cannot be comprehended by the rational mind and yet still hold profound meaning.
As much as we can try, we cannot compartmentalise our fascinations. All our inspirations and inclinations merge into one another in our artistic expressions and influence our style. That’s what I concur when I see Aamina Hammad’s work. Aamina is a gardener who loves plants crystals, and horror movies, often referring to herself as a ‘green witch’. And when she creates as an artist, her work reflects all of those elements of her life.
Going by the name Poday Wali on social media, Aamina is a South Asian multidisciplinary visual artist and illustrator who combines nature and human form to create surreal portraits in her latest series called, ‘Beautiful Head’. She was drawn into the natural world through gardening which she started to improve her mental health. Her daily gardening practice connected her not just to plants but also to the world around them comprised of soil, insects, wasps and creatures that we usually ignore or find unpleasant.
Aamina, largely using herself as a model for the portraits blends her identity with nature and creates a visual connection between the two for the viewers as well. She brings her vivid imagination, elegance and femininity to her assemblages in a tribute to all the creatures keeping the ecosystem going. As any surrealist art should, her work resonates with something deep within our unconscious mind making it highly appealing and stimulating.