Interviewing Diana Al-Hadid

Last week we had the pleasure of meeting artist Diana Al-Hadid and she provided great insight into her work and what it’s like in her studio world. During our discussion, she talked about how her strong roots and interests in art history and sociology have caused her to refer to religious works to leave her own footprint and interpretation on. Along with talking about her work, Al-Hadid also commented on the current world situation and what that looks like for young artists, and how pressure and difficult situations in society create opportunities for artists to flourish.

Diana explained how her love for art history has driven her to refer to religious imagery because a large portion of art is composed of religious works and stories. Her main interest with these images is not the stories themselves, but the how their representation and presentation has changed over the years, depending on the artist, the style of the time, or the impact of culture at that time. From these pieces, Al-Hadid draws her own conclusions, or creates new endings to the stories to leave her own footprint on religious imagery, and feels no allegiance to accurately depicting the story itself. Al-Hadid highlighted how cultures have been so heavily influenced by religion and the depictions of these stories; By redefining the story itself, Al-Hadid is able to provide a new perspective on art history and sociology.

Diana also made it a point to comment what it means to be an artist during Covid, what her studio means to her, and what a young artist should aim to do during this time of unrest. Al-Hadid reiterated multiple times how her month and a half absence from her studio further emphasized how her studio space serves multiple purposes, including a place for her to exercise mental health and intuition. She reflected on her early career and she was continuously creating pieces until she found her rhythm with her material and her content, and how during this time of unrest in the world is the right time for young artists to continuously create with no boundary. Al-Hadid complemented Da Da as one of the most influential movements in the art world because the creations were raw and came from artists who worked to form new rules and to redefine the art itself during times of global turmoil. It was very encouraging to hear Diana encourage my classmates and I to keep creating and to continue our process even though our surroundings are giving us so many reasons to stop. During the course of the conversation, Al-Hadid told us that she doesn’t plan her works and that her ideas come more organically. That kind of fluidity is needed in the art world, especially when any predetermined plans right now are cancelled or foggy.