“To Bestialize Her,” is a (work in progress) project series; of strategies, drawings, paintings, interviews, and studio practice—that is currently evolving, yearning for peer-to-peer exchange, and seeking to activate surrounding discussions and discursive practices. The project is a series of oil, acrylics, and mixed media painting portraits of women juxtaposed and/or intertwined with animals. The project assembles these images in front of the viewer in a visual, non-linear, narrative juxtaposing its subjects in a manner reminiscent of surrealist/mythological legacy, drawn from collective conscience/sub-conscience and folk beliefs.
“Metaphor is one of the main mechanisms that contribute to the diffusion and ingraining of folk beliefs” Irene Lopez Rodriguez’s paper “ Of women, bitches, chickens and vixens: Animal metaphors for women in English and Spanish”. This essay is one of the main sources that inform this work.
In my native language; Arabic, the culture is known to be massively patriarchal. Animal metaphors are often used in the female form to describe evil, sexual and/or ugly characteristics of people regardless of their gender in everyday life. Through my subsequent research, after moving to America I realized that these metaphors carry across and are similar in multiple languages and cultures.