Interview: Tahira Fida Talks Art and Inspiration

Tahira Fida, a fine artist whose work has travelled beyond borders, exhibiting contemporary and Islamic art while taking part in local and international symposiums. Known for her brand ‘Tara’, Fida has recently won the prestigious Al Mara Excellence Award 2018, and we had the pleasure of catching up for a quick interview about her art and the inspirations behind it.

Your canvases are remarkable. What inspired you to become an artist?

I guess I was born to be an artist. When I was a child I was often praised for my artistic choice in clothing and colours. I received many awards at school for making art such as items produced from waste materials. Later in college, I wanted to be an interior designer but unfortunately, this specialisation was not available in Oman at the time, so I chose to be an English teacher. The language has opened international doors for me and I took advantage of that. Finally, I got my MA in visual arts.

You grew up in Sur Al Lawatiya in Mutrah, how did that influence your art?

It has influenced my art in different ways, especially in choosing my designs and ornaments, which are usually inspired by the architecture in Mutrah; vintage windows, traditional doors and Islamic patterns at the mosque. Besides that, the colours of nature that can be found around Mutrah are also inspiring.

What message are you trying to communicate with your art?

Be yourself and do what you enjoy the most. Use your energy and passion for what you love. Life is short, so explore as much as you can. Do not live a boring life!

Absolutely. What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

My coffee, sorry without it I cannot function.

What about concepts, which ones do you enjoy exploring the most?

My favourite topics are the ones from my childhood memories. My heart is full of these sweet moments. I still remember our laughs, talks and chats, and how we used to share our secrets. Such memories are so alive and I am holding onto them.

What are some of your favourite milestones?

I accomplished a remarkable project for Shangri-la’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa in Muscat and I am so proud to see five of my art pieces on the staircase of Al Waha Hotel. It is one of my favourite projects. Another one can be found at the Gate 2B at the new airport, it’s really a thrill to see it there.

What has been your most amazing or touching moment you’ve experienced thus far as an artist?

My first touching moment was when I received the First Prize in an exhibition organised by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage in 2005, for presenting an installation. Although, it was not my first award but was such a distinguished award because I was presenting conceptual art and it was not easy for me to compose the idea and choose my materials. This award made me believe in my potential and capabilities as an artist. My second touching moment was when I had my first class Master’s degree; it validated me as a professional artist.

Follow the artist on her latest adventures: @tahira_fida_artist

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