The Power of the Void

The Power of the Void 


Silence versus the said word, and the timeless relevance of our hopes, fears and dreams, are just some of the themes explored by Ghadeer Saeed in an exciting new online exhibition, available to view on the Artscoops platform




While many of us might consider ‘The sound of silence’ to be a somewhat contradictory phrase on one level, few would argue that quiet can be as powerful and effective as noise.


Silence’s capacity to convey an entire host of emotions, often more successfully than the said word, is one of several ideas explored by the artist Ghadeer Saeed in her latest online show, titled ‘Violet’, which has just been launched on the Artscoops platform.



Saeed, who lives in Jordan, explains that she turned to old films and photos as a vehicle for this fascinating project, in which she uses her favoured ‘giclée’, fine-art printing technique.


“These photos express so much, they’re incredibly inspirational,” she says. “I try to solve the mysteries of this silence, to listen to it and imagine what the figures in the photos are thinking about.”


Saeed focuses, in particular, on the facial expressions of the subjects she selects, noting that, “Whether or not they’re smiling, each one carries a story.”

She adds that while the figures themselves are from a different era, their “hopes, fears and dreams” are not so different from our own, which gives them a contemporary feel and relevance in the current socio-political context.


“Given my background, I cannot isolate myself from the present situation,” she acknowledges. “In my work, I’m asking what these historical figures would do if they were to come to life and how they’d view our society today.”


Asked about the show’s title, Saeed explains that violet has long been a favourite colour of hers, representing “the perfect mix between cold and warm colours”. However, her reasons for choosing it as the name for the show go much deeper. “Violet contains silence, balance, energy and power,” Saeed explains. “I felt it was right for driving the power and balance that are present in these works.” 


As part of the process, Saeed printed photos on to a carefully and meticulously selected range of old papers from books. An assiduous craftsperson, she explains that every element, from the age, condition and size of the paper to the writing and background had to be “just right”.



The process involved preparing the drawings and photos on the computer, before carefully balancing the placement and position relative to the page chosen to print on. “It’s very much about form and the aesthetics I was looking to produce through the combination of image, text and void,” she explains.


Saeed adds that the text on the page sometimes reflects the concept of the printed photo, although on other occasions, she decided to select words that expressed the exact opposite. Layering, as she explains, has long been a pivotal part of her creativity. “I like the depth in the work and the multiple interpretations a work can carry,” she says.


Saeed has, in the past, incorporated her own photographs onto paper through the giclée printing process. A qualified and successful architect, her background expertise is clearly evident in the linear nature of the colourful and complicated, often exotic, elements that characterise her work. 


This latest show is typical of her penchant for selecting deep and thought-provoking themes. Quoting the Chilean poet-diplomat and politician, Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, better known as Pablo Neruda, she muses, “We come to silence from different languages, through different avenues.”



Watch Artscoops’ encounter with Ghadeer Saeed in Amman

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