A visual album of Antiguan landscapes....

Howaida Moussa-Weel is a Barbadian artist and multi-media art director of arab descent who owns her own advertising and graphic design firm. A graduate of Mass communications with a second degree in graphic design, her commercial and fine art studio is located on the south coast of Barbados, at the Shak Shak complex in Hastings.

Her paintings are the focus of the February exhibition at the Island Arts Gallery in Antigua. The show provides a unique vision of Caribbean imagery that combines Antiguan icons with abstract concepts and vibrant color.

The collection, her first exhibition in Antigua, creates a visual album of Antiguan landscapes that include many recognizable profiles. You will find the rock symbol of Hawksbill beach, the windmill, Jolly Roger and Montserrat aglow in the distance. Serene dynamics of Sun and sea- common to the whole Caribbean intermingle with rolling hills, palm trees, sailing boats and idyllic chattel houses. In 21st century art lingo the collection could be defined as Antiguan- inspired, Caribbean icons, in the truest sense.

The exhibition opens at 5pm Saturday January 30th and is hosted by international artist and movie maker Nick Maley and his wife Gloria at their home and studio Aiton Place in Hodges Bay.

"This show is an unusual diversion for art in Antigua," says Nick. "Much of modern art has alienated the general public who often feel poorly equipped to discern masterpiece from hoax. This show presents Antigua in a form that is sufficiently representational to be recognized by the layman yet at the same time exposes the viewer to the conceptual and often abstracted inner workings of the artist's vision. It's an excellent introduction to the concepts of iconography that is simple enough to be easily perceived by its viewers yet complicated enough to expand their aesthetic horizons. Best of all ... the prices are within reach of the modest collector."

It was Howaida's success in her visual communications career that prompted her to take up painting. She has produced regional commercials for television, radio and press for companies such as Banks Beer, Heineken, Cable and Wireless, The Mutual, Colgate-Palmolive and Mount Gay Distillers.

Currently, her media of choice is oil painting on canvas. Her painting technique explores a formula uniquely her own: Caribbean imagery combining minimalism, distortion and abstraction with vibrant color. With a new millenium mindset, she breaks down her images into their simplest forms and cellular structures, reading them in pixels, translated into simple indulging brushstrokes. The final outcome is original; vibrant and richly colorful, whimsical yet centred ; the texture is soft and creamy.

Her portfolio includes classical portraiture, iconography, surrealism, cubism and impressionism. Having established herself as one of Barbados' contemporary artists, she is represented in New York, London, Montreal and Oslo and her works are purchased by collectors worldwide.




Island Arts Galleries, Antigua, West Indies.

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