Houda Bakkali has come a long way to establish herself as an award winning visual artist, now based in Barcelona, Spain. Her works have been recognized by major national and international art institutions and magazines.
Her art endeavour began in 2008 when she created a digital collage art series called Africa Sweet and Pop. Inspired by the charms of Africa and her origins, this art series was also a turning point in her life and career.
A tribute to her origins
A few months after the publication of Africa Sweet and Pop series, Houda’s mother passed way. Having lost her father a few years prior, Houda had to find ways the deal with the significant loss of her parents. Art came as a form of therapy and helped direct her grief and pain into something creative. She found peace and contemplation.
“For me it was a new beginning, different, stronger and more committed. All the pain, the nostalgia and the feeling of significant loss became a work full of colour, the love for life, filled with the beautiful memories of my childhood and the privilege of enjoying the little moments.”
Solo Exhibition – Parado De Lorca, Spain Image by Patxi Maroto
Beautiful African Woman Series
Awarded-wining series “Beautiful African Woman” is a project of digital illustrations of women of strength, brilliance, love and beauty. This series is also inspired by the figure and the real life story of Houda’s mother who from a young age strived for freedom and equality for women in the Arab and Muslim world. It tells the story of a woman who made herself heard through a conciliatory speech for freedom, passion and equality.
“This series aims to break the clichés of Arab, African and Muslim women, vindicate the rights of women to be able to decide their own destinies, and to break the fear and silence of sexism.”
Transgression by Houda Bakkali
Art brought to life in the digital space
Art comes to life, tells stories and evolves over time. The incorporation of augmented reality in art according to Houda, can heighten the audience’s experience in a digital and virtual platform. It’s a fabulous tool for artists to work on as it gives their art pieces a new dimension and depth, allowing the audience to interact, immerse and experience art differently. This is the magic of AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) technology.
“I think AR/VR is here to stay. Today, they are already a trend in the art industry. Augmented reality will allow the creation of unique experiences in which the public can view and appreciate an artist’s creative expression, which they can continue to build on in time in a digital ecosystem. Our work becomes part of their memory.”
Contemporary Art Fair Montecarlo – Monaco 2021
Her inspiration and motivation moving forward
Houda advises aspiring and emerging artists to always have a positive mindset and not be afraid of failures as they are opportunities for growth. Creatives alike should be optimistic about what the future holds and most importantly, design their desired future with discipline and hard work. They should also develop the courage to fight for their dreams.
These qualities have been Houda’s main source of motivation that has kept her going in challenging times.
“I think all artists are afraid of the white canvas. The best remedy is to live without pressure, without stress. Get carried away by the moments. Observe, listen, read, chat, enjoy life…because life is full of opportunities.”
As in finding inspiration, Houda explains that it arises at any moment, anywhere for her. Every artists would agree with her as we live in an ever inspiring world. To create artistic work that is both personal and revealing, we just have to remain open and inspiration will find its way to us.
“I find inspiration in my memories, in my dreams and my future projects. In the destinations and trips that I make, my friends and my obsessions. Actually, we are all surrounded by art, shapes, sounds, feelings and emotions that unleash the unexpected. That is the unstoppable energy of creativity.”
Loving Italy series
“Loving Italy” series is one of Houda’s most recent work based on mixed media of digital art (collage and illustration), motion graphics and augmented reality. This series of 12 canvas artwork has a dual look. On the one hand, it’s inspired by the festive, fun, exuberance and splendour of Italy. On the other, “Loving Italy” represents a reflexion about the vicious circles of art nowadays, with its excesses and its vanities.
A reflexion about this reality through the ironic image of the protagonist, always the same. Sometimes funny and other times a slave to its own superficiality, absolutely addicted to itself and to the judgment of others.