After spending six months in Oman, where I’d become tanned as if the sun had repainted me so to speak, I then decided to go to the UAE. Within a few months, I’d found a home studio from which to paint, and it so happened that the place was bathed in the setting hours of sunlight until it set in the evening over the horizon line formed by the ocean. The Middle East sunlight is strong, brisk, and providing, for it arms the desert with its equatorial sunlight. My place had a large window facing the sear. In the morning as the sun set in the evening, it took me on with it by the orange light which flooded straight into the room where I’d painted. I’d wake up fresh by the light and with ideas of what I wanted to paint. It was the order of the light.
In the twelve years that followed, nearly all of my artwork was created from these two studios in Sharjah — which were the spaces that I had eventually had to let go of before the lockdown years. The spaces inspired a different kind of canvasses. These were paintings that were borne from waking up every day and painting solely because I had ideas that I wanted to paint. There wasn’t a predetermined or pre-arranged plan for an exhibition. After a number of years, of this practice around 300 pieces were exhibited in Abu Dhabi. The Studio at the Sharjah Airport had large halls and high ceilings that were perfectly in sync with the large paintings id produced, which seemed to have found their collective destination. I suppose I was traveling with these paintings on a journey that none of us was privy to. In that way, it is magical a journey.