2016 This is not a viper

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This is not a viper is a series of small paintings in which I research the source of collective fear. In today’s society, fear seems to have become commonplace, mainly for the unknown or for that which we have little control over. Fear is fuelled from the outside and can grow to unreasonably large proportions. I examine the tension between the known and the unknown and the relationship between collective imagination, prejudices, fears and reality.

Based on a personal experience with disproportionate fear of poisonous snakes in Finland, I use the viper in this series as a metaphor for collective fear. I gave the vipers Arabic names. I have chosen the names for their beautiful meanings. By giving the snakes names, I try to emphasize the subject of fear. On the other hand, I try to humanise the snakes and give them personality, which could reduce anxiety.

This is not a viper names and meaning

Ahmad – worthy of being praised
Akram – generous
Aminah – trustworthy
Anass – friendly
Atefeh – love
Farida – valuable
Fouad – heart
Halim – kind
Kalil – good friend
Munir – brilliant glow
Nasira – helper
Noura – inner light
Nweh – light
Qutarah – vulnerable
Rafiqa – kind companion
Rajya – hope
Suleyman – peace