Oman 2day

Oman 2day

March 2009

Coloured Inks

The work of Stephanie Borg

“So far, it is still coloured inks – I like their fluidity, and their vibrancy is amazing,” says Maltese artist Stephanie Borg of her preferred medium. Colour is integral to the work of this self-taught artist and graphic designer, a constant in an oeuvre that embraces diverse subject matter. “Some pieces are directly inspired by my travels, others by nature, and in others I express my feelings and emotions in a semi-abstract manner. However, colour always plays a very important role in my work. For me, every colour has its own voice and my state of being at the start of a painting determines the ‘voice’ I’ll be using – the content is secondary.”

Stephanie’s interest in colour and pattern was aroused during her childhood. She recalls visiting a small textiles shop with her mother – “The feeling for me was like being in a sweet shop.” Her long-held passion found fertile ground in Oman, which she first visited in 2001. Not only did she respond to the landscape – “What a sight, all those colours!” – but also to the traditional attire dress worn by Omani women, the brightly patterned tunic, trousers and head covering commonly worn in the interior and at weddings and festivals. Even after having lived in Oman for five years, the women’s vivid, traditional attire continues to be a source of inspiration. It has prompted works like the graphic images of Omani women that decorate her wrapping paper design, which is sold in selected outlets around Muscat. There have been calendars, too; this year’s calendar includes a limited edition, signed and numbered print. These products came about after several of Stephanie’s original drawings were snapped up by admirers. Inspired by this success, she decided in 2004 to reproduce six Omani-themed drawings into greeting cards, and a year later, came up with the wrapping paper idea, which became the first wrapping paper with an Omani theme on the market.

Stephanie describes her technique as applying ink layer upon layer of colour until the desird effect is achieved. “I think that being an artist is an innate quality – some people discover it earlier than others, some pursue this calling and some don’t,” she says. “What I do comes naturally to me; it’s not something I force myself into doing. It is how I express myself.”

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