Her artist name was derived from the Flemish word maretak (mistletoe) and a typo for matraque (baton) found on the early Internet. Her actual name points to Al-Khwarizmi a Muslim mathematician born in 780. Vali Al Khawarizm refers to VA's father Valere who was a feverish bicycle fan and wood carver who died in 1994.
Martaque, (Jamilla Al Khawarizm, ° Cascais, Portugal) makes drawings and mixed media artworks by applying a poetic mathematical language that develops through different interpretations.
Her drawings feature coincidental and unexpected connections garnered from human efforts like sports games, mass gatherings, and physical labour. She combines unrelated aspects that lead to surprising results, by questioning the concept of statistics, revealing an inherent visual insight. She creates intense personal graphics created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and rejection.
By introducing abstraction, she formalises the coincidental and emphasises the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works.
Her works isolate the activity of humans and/or objects. By doing so, new sequences are created which reveal an inseparable relationship between motion and effort.
After the death of her father, the mathematician Vali Al Khawarizm in 1994, she focuses on completing some of his unaccomplished work as "Tour", and "the Fingerprints of God".
Martaque currently lives and works in Ghent.