Lina Elmalik is a Sudanese artist who has been passionate about drawing faces ever since she could first pick up a pencil.

As an artist, her specialty is portrait painting, its importance today and its relationship with self-expression. Her practice explores themes of isolation, dissociation and melancholy brought about by our human presence within the virtual world of the internet. While harboring a fascination with portraiture, Lina has devoted herself to studying it in-depth and strongly believes in its relevance as an outlet for artistic expression. To her, painting is a visceral process experienced by the artist, the controller of the brush, and is inexplicably linked to their subconscious no matter the subject they are painting.


:: An informal interview with Lina

What are your preferred pronouns? 
Where do you call home? 
Khartoum, Sudan
What is your program and year of graduation? 
Leroy E. Hoffberger School of Painting, MFA, 2023
What inspired you to take the leap of going to graduate school? 
I missed being present in an academic atmosphere that would provide me with the physical space and communal support I needed in order to experiment with my artwork. As someone who has closer ties to internet culture rather than my own country's culture, I knew that if I wanted to gain recognition for my work, I would have to look outwards. The art world in Sudan is especially starved and its contributions to the fine arts have largely been undermined. Therefore, I want to use what I learn from graduate school to help reeducate and rekindle an appreciation of the arts within an apathetic people.
How has this scholarship impacted your thinking and process during your time in graduate school? 
I knew beforehand that the Leslie King-Hammond Graduate Fellowship was dedicated to providing a voice to those from historically marginalized groups. Being a recipient made me realize how infinitely fortunate I am, as well as feel truly seen. Presently, I'm even more adamant about making the most of my time while I'm here and working on expanding my practice.
What have you been working on? Share the driving questions and inspiration that informs your work as an artist, designer, educator and/or activist. 
I've recently been working on introducing digital painting into my work because of its ties to internet culture and virtual reality. The questions that have been on my mind are "how can I create an effective marriage between digital and traditional painting?" and "what themes do I want to delve into that can be facilitated through this marriage?"