Inspired by Diversity
One of Siddiqa Juma's most iconic paintings, Diversity, was created to examine the power of the Holy Kaabah in attracting worshipers from all 4 corners of the globe. The premise of the painting is very simple - a Holy Kaabah surrounded by a multitude of brush strokes, layered one of top of another and in many different colours to denote the diversity of the worshipers.
This painting gave rise to Siddiqa's first collaborative and ground-breaking initiatives called Make Your Mark. The painting, like Diversity - shows the Holy Kaabah as the central focus of the painting. This is then surrounded by a blanket of coloured strokes which are placed by members of the public. So far, over 6,500 people of all colours, religions and ethnicities have placed their mark on the painting, including members of global Royalty, eminent politicians and celebrities as well as of course, members of the general global community. This piece won the UK's People's Art Prize in 2015 but it is still a work in progress and is currently in the Middle East awaiting more brushstrokes from members of the public.
Inspired by the success of Make Your Mark, Siddiqa was approached by Brent Cross Shopping Mall (London) in 2016, to create a new collaborative painting for their first ever Eid Festival. The concept this time was an English meadow, with members of the public painting their own flowers - again to signify the unity and diversity of British society. The painting was aptly named Unity in Diversity and now adorns all 4 exterior walls of the mall's multi-faith prayer room.
In 2017, Siddqa was approached by MasterPeace - a global peace initiative to spearhead a collaborative painting on a public space in the heart of Central London. She will be building upon her theme of the English meadow on the wall of playground in the London Borough of Southwark, an area that was subject to recent terror attacks. The overriding message here is that we are stronger as a united society, even where people have sought to divide.
To Siddiqa, one of the best things about Diversity is how it has inspired a whole new generation of children and young artists to create their own Diversity paintings. The concept has inspired a plethora of similar initiatives in schools, playgroups and art classes to name but a few, both domestically in the UK and as far a-field as the United States. Some schools have created their own collaborative painting based on the Diversity painting and a wonderful example hangs outside the office at Bromet school in Watford, She also, is delighted when she receives pictures from people who have recreated it with their children. The painting has also been selected to feature on the cover of RE Today (Islam - examining religion and belief) and in a book to accompany the exhibition (funded by the European Union and organized jointly by a consortium of European research institutes and agencies) - project Islam – It´s also our history in the section to demonstrate the influence on post-war modernism and contemporary art and conclude the book with a demonstration of how this exchange is relevant today.
Finally, Diversity has now been nominated for an award at the Global Art Awards 2017, due to be held at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in November 2017.