Zaina El-Said

Zaina El-Said is a Circassian artist from the North Caucasus, currently based in Jordan. She completed her higher education in 2001 from the American Intercontinental University in London. Between travels and missions between Europe, America and Russia, it wasn’t until year 2010 that Zaina settled back in Amman and took up arts as her career path. Being brought up in a family of artists it seemed destined she would eventually follow the household footprints.

Zaina began painting, mainly drawn to geometry and calligraphy, but it wasn’t until 2014 that she took a major turn and delved into the world of collage art. Using different material on canvas was a starting point which led to creating whole pieces from cut out magazines, newspaper, CD covers and any available material she found. It was the different textures and eclectic and surreal result that she was drawn to achieve. Collage art was a way in assembling worlds from already existing places and people. Moving forward with the collage technique, Zaina switched to digital collage and transformed her works to digital, and managed to mix both digital and hand cut together in her works.

Zaina’s collage art focuses on assembling many worlds into one, usually led by a protagonist; she focuses on mixing world cultures, architecture, motifs, archaeology, arts and nature into a single portrait to convey that human innovation complements one another harmoniously with nature. Her works can be described as surreal, symmetrical, colourful and full of patterns.

Artist statement

“My upbringing was divided between tribal/military atmosphere as well as artists and designers. Thus, my artwork followed a similar pattern. In my work a central character (hero or authority figure) leads the work and is interwoven within a story of patterns, ideas, architecture and details that belong to completely different origins. I focus on creating harmony through differences and create oneness from contrast of color and ideas to convey the importance of transcending differences if one is to focus on beauty”.

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