Painter Hilda Hiary uses bright colors and fleeting patterns to create images that unite instead of divide. Born in Ammam and self-identified as an Arab-Jordanian artist, Hiary forgoes ethnic markers in her characters in favor of soft swirls and fading lines. Just as her lines are never straight, Hiary’s characters are never still. Whether talking or smoking, they are always invigorated with a sense of movement. The dynamic energy is only bolstered by the oscillating patterns.
Hiary’s characters are social creatures. The works explore the complex relations between two girlfriends, mothers and their unborn children, and men and women. In each of her paintings, Hiary uses the form of a circle as an exploratory tool to dissect the human psyche. Emotions, just as political turmoil, are circular, rising and abating through time. Though the conflicting and fearful feelings a mother has toward her pregnancy are vastly different in subject from the heaviness and uncertainty left in the wake of the Arab Spring, Hiary’s use of the circle motif unites the two themes, drawing attention to the potential for both destruction and creation.