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handmade watercolour and gouache on cotton rag paper

56cm x 72cm

This work is currently in Istambul and would be shipped from there to the buyer.


Bamba's Flowers is a painting of floral motifs found throughout various traditional visual cultures. The idea came from a dream where a saint was sitting amongst the blue flowers from all over the world and even from places humans had not set sights on. The work is meant to be playful and eccentric in its collections of motifs and botanical florals. Laurelie uses the visual vocabulary of Islamic Art to represent the religion and spiritual lenses she perceives the world through. She then juxtapose those motifs with the folklore and fables of European cultures about fear of the unknown, beastly creatures and mythology that she grew up immersed within. “I am a fusion of East and West. With these sides usually at odds with each other, I have come to realize my position within that environment. I am at a crossroads as I lived the second half of my life as Muslim and the first part as a Christian. I straddle a limbo between the two, sometimes as an observer but often as a translator. I translate not only language and words but meaning, experience and connections. I have begun to realize that I occupy this unique position and I have allowed it to become the focus and foundation of my work. In order to reconcile with this chosen identity and reality I have searched for the past 17 years for the places my old life overlaps with the new. I search for the similarities between ideas and dichotomies creating the art that I want and need to see.I don’t give answers but mere suggestions through the medium, and subject matter Idiscuss in my work. No binary relationship is as polarized as we would think it to be.Within society we’re comfortable with these opposites and polarizations. In my worktherefore I aim to present and worth within the gray area. The area that createsdiscomfort from not being able to grasp one’s bearings.I predominantly work in an illustrative style using handmade watercolor, gouache andinks and ceramic. I am inspired by both Islamic, Greek, Medieval European manuscriptsand encyclopedic illustrations. By fusing these different traditions together to representthe contemporary world I experience, I hope the viewer will begin to see the gray areabetween the extremes of the East and the West. I hope this will help viewers realize thiscan be applied to the many binary relationships that can be easily seen in one’s dailylife”

Laurelie Rae


Rae is a teaching artist, based in Istanbul since 2014. Completing a master's degree from U.K.'s Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts before moving to Istanbul to continue her studies of traditional and contemporary Islamic art. She is an artist, as well museum education consultant who specializes in traditional and Islamic art methods and techniques. She is the author of "Islamic Art & Architecture: Memories of Seljuk & Ottoman Masterpieces". In 2019 she completed her second MA in Visual Art and Communication Design at Sabanci University, where she explored contemporary Art and Art History.

Bamba's Flowers

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