Artist’s Statement

Celebration of Lyrical Line:

My journey into the realm of unknown begins with the line as it is the ray of light for me. I am celebrating energy and movement of line in my paintings, drawings and sculptures. I have always followed inner rhythm and by listening to it I draw with continuous line sometimes forming figural compositions with connected figures and other times abstract formations. Since my exposure to Arabic Calligraphy during my stay in Middle East, I feel my line has become more lyrical and melodious.

I find myself yearning to find infinite possibilities of the lyrical line itself on large canvases. I just want to plunge myself into the pleasure of contemplating the abstract flow of the swelling lines, and form compositions of lines and fields within given space and enjoy the celebration of calligraphy through lyrical visions.

I use the same stroke of the brush for Arabic letters as I do for suggesting human forms.  Both are fluid as if temporary expressions of the eternal universal vibration and energy. There is a vague suggestion of hide-and-seek, where figures and space bond to show volume and deny it all at the same time. It is the line that performs both as a mark and as contour that charges space. These paintings are visually flowing, undulating spiral through space in hushed and deep tones connecting figures and ground in a spiritual union, a synthesis of contour, color and space.

My work is created through an ongoing process of introspection that involves action and reaction to a variety of materials.  My method is physical and meditative in a process that fills each canvas with moving lines and multi-layered textures. For me creating art means getting physically involved with the piece; scratching, sanding, and layering, adding details in pen and ink or materials like paper, rope, modeling paste, paper Mache or copper plate can all be used to create relief paintings that incorporate my cultural viewpoint to interpret contemporary political, social and spiritual issues.

Salma Arastu

2547 8th Street, Studio #34, Berkeley, CA 94710

Phone: 510 868 4398       Email: