About the Art
Title: Khawla's Journey
Medium: Mixed media on fabriano
Size: 70cm x 44cm
Date: July 2020
Inspiration: Khawla b. al-Azwar (d. 639). A contemporary of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). She is best known for her participation in the Battle of Yarmuk (636) against the Byzantines. According to later narratives of the Islamic conquests, authors described her as having the skill and fighting ability of the famed Muslim general Khālid ibn al-Walīd. There are a lot of embellishments and unclear details that emerge from later sources about her which make the details questionable, leading some scholars to doubt whether she had even existed at all!
While many people may be familiar with the accomplishments of contemporary Muslim women (whether heads of state, scholars or activists), the fact that women also played a pivotal role in the pre-modern Muslim world as intellectuals, poets, mystics, rulers and warriors tends to be less appreciated.
Saarah Begg is currently studying for her Masters in Arts and Design at Tshwane University of Technology. Her research explores how selected contemporary Muslim artists in South Africa explore secular themes and navigate the apparent contrast between their religion and their role as contemporary artists.
During her undergraduate studies, she has majored in ceramics and glass art along with mandatory drawings modules and continues to expand her skills through painting, digital art and photography.
In 2017, Saarah was a finalist for Transparency Art and Design Competition held at FADA Gallery at the University of Johannesburg.
From 2017 to 2018, her ceramics was selected for the Gauteng Region Ceramics Southern Africa.
In 2019, Saarah was part of the For Sale Project Exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum following another exhibition at University of Pretoria student gallery called, Living Legends: an exhibition by Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi in collaboration with Fine art students from the University of Pretoria and the Tshwane University of Technology.