For our ongoing group exhibition ‘Interconnected’, in collaboration with Arneli Art Gallery, we explore each artist’s creative process and the fundamental themes reflected in their works. Dzovig Arnelian is an experimental Lebanese - Armenian artist with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts. She is a bold feminist artist who primarily works on themes such as gender roles, women empowerment, and patriarchy criticism, among others.
Her artworks involve working with a variety of materials and translating them into various mediums such as paintings, body prints, prints, photography, amongst others. The most intriguing aspect of Dzovig's body of work is her daring portrayal of themes, which frequently surprises the audience with its intimacy and fearlessness.
What inspires your style?
The search through oneself is what inspires my style and body of work. My approach to artistic exploration is daring, feminine and often considered bold. I am highly inspired by the human body, the female figure, female sexuality as well as the soul and body relationships.
What sort of experimentation has led you to your current style as an artist?
Diverse sorts of experimentations led to my current style as an artist. Playing around with different mediums like photography, painting, engraving, body art and mixed media has led to my current multidisciplinary work.
Why did you start making art? How did you kickstart your artistic endeavour?
I started drawing at the age of 13 and my uncle had adopted my artistic skills and pushed me towards pursuing this dream. I had some private lessons as a teenager with local artists yet the biggest change in artistic exploration occurred through the academic education that I have received. Joining the Lebanese University of Fine Arts has been one of the best things that has happened in my life where I have discovered myself first and secondly my artistic tendencies and identity.
What other artists, genres or movements do you draw inspiration from?
I am highly inspired by photography and in particular by works of a young American photographer, Francesca Woodman, which I have done my Masters degree in Arts about.
What do you do to get into your creative zone?
I like listening to music and seeing the works of other artists. I find that quite very inspiring as it pushes me back to my creative zone.
What are the biggest challenges you've had in your art?
The biggest challenge that I've had has been the search for oneself through artistic exploration. Finding the answers to the big questions, What do I want to say? and how do i want to say it?
If you could change one aspect of society or social issues through your work, what would it be?
Through my art, my biggest and ultimate message is addressing the acceptance of all types of vulnerabilities. With a major focus on female sexuality, my work would promote self love, body care and positive sexuality.
What ultimate messages do your creative expressions convey?
The ultimate form of strength is the complete acceptance of vulnerability.
Are there any thoughts you wish to share in relation to the theme of interconnectedness? (the impact the global events of the last 3 years have had in your artistic endeavours as a female artist)
As a female artist who has been through a difficult and long global phase, I would admit that this has been a really challenging period for me as a person and as an artist but it has been a very educational period as well. For the first time a single pain has united all nations and all cultures. This togetherness has connected the whole globe for the first time and this interconnectedness has become a new form of art in itself.
Has technology had any impact on your artistic practice? In what ways has it affected or shaped it?
Technology has had a great impact on my artistic practice. In the techniques that I use to implement my projects all through to the way the artwork is displayed on numeric platforms. Technology and the internet has become in itself a new medium for artistic exploration, display and collection and has immensely affected the lives of artists nowadays.
Are there recurring themes in your work, or any that have emerged as your work has evolved?
The recurring themes in my works are: self and body exploration, female sexuality, vulnerability and intimacy.
What are you working on now and next?
I am currently working on 2 series. The first one focuses on black and white flower photography and the second one is a colourful documentation of tender and intimate relationships.
INTERCONNECTED - A group exhibition of 18 women artists from across Africa and the Middle East; showcasing 36 works in a variety of mediums and perspectives outlined in paintings, mixed media and digital art. Bordering between the known and the unknown, abstraction and figuration; the selected artists examine the interconnected complexities of human experience detailed through distinct artistic styles and approaches - in personal theory and form.
Visit the exhibition here.