final activities for 2019

'shifts to maneuver: shape-shifting texts & other publishing tactics' at warehouse 421 e-vite . 2019

'jaddaf aloud!' at jameel art centre e-vite . 2019

'winter camp 2019' at tashkeel e-vite . 2019

announcing a final few participations before the year is officially over. i can't believe 2019 is almost coming to a close. and what better way then to end the year with some exciting exhibition and workshop participations! below is a list of what i'll be occupied with during the final month of the year:

i am happy to be included in an 'alternative publishings' exhibition titled 'how to maneuver: shape-shifting texts and other publishing tactics' at warehouse 421, abu dhabi. curated by maha maamoun and ala younis, the duo behind the publishing initiative kayfa ta, the exhibition looks at different publishing practises that have emerged in the region over the years, highlighting certain publication projects and initiatives, as well as looking at the need for the creation of such printed matter. 'how to maneuver [...]' opens on tuesday, 10 december from 6pm onwards. a shout out goes to ala and maha – thank you for reaching out and having me included in the show. for more information on the show please head here.

my next participation is at jameel art centre's one year anniversary event titled 'jaddaf aloud!'. the centre is hosting a full day of activities for the community-at-large, ranging from workshops, live music and performances, a makers market, and more. i'll be facilitating a stamp-printing on various surfaces workshop between 4 – 5.30 pm for everyone interested, targeting children and young creatives. 'jaddaf aloud!' happens on friday, 13 december from 2 – 10pm. if you want a fun day out with your friends or family, please come down. for more information, please head to the event page here.

lastly, i will be facilitating a final set of workshops for tashkeel's 2019 winter camp series. 'tashkeel winter camp 2019' happens on 15 – 19 december, hosting a variety of fun workshops for children and young creatives from the ages of 8 – 14. i will be offering a 'stamp patterns on textiles' workshop on sunday 15 december, where participants will create stamps to print various patterns on textiles, inspired by animal skin patterns (or anything they really fancy to be honest!). i will be hosting the workshop twice on the same day – from 10am – 1pm for kids 8 – 11 years of age, and from 2 – 5pm for kids 12 – 14 years of age. for more information and to register for the morning session (10am – 1pm), please head to the workshop page here. and to register for the afternoon session (2 – 5pm), head here.

if you're in abu dhabi (or plan to go soon), make sure to check out the exhibition 'how to maneuver [...] which runs until 16 feb 2020 (my birthday!). and if you're in dubai this friday, do come with family and loved ones and say hi at 'jaddaf aloud!'. and if you want to get your children's hand's dirty with some fun printing on textiles, please sign up for tashkeel's winter camp workshops. hope to see you all at one (or all) of these upcoming events!


sketchbook safari

'sketchbook safari' workshop e-vite . 2019

happy 48th to the country i call home! and what better way to celebrate than by signing up for a 'sketchbook safari'! 
it's been awhile since i've facilitated a walkabout around 'old dubai'. the last one was way back in 2015 (see here). 4 years later, i'm happy to be offering 'sketchbook safari' with the support of my tashkeel fam! the one day safari will focus on exploring areas around the creek on foot, starting in bur dubai then crossing over via abra to deira, all with a sketchbook in hand. participants will respond to drawing prompts during the safari, sketching moments and observations they find interesting or exciting. by the end of the safari, i hope everyone will have lovely sketchbooks filled with drawings of moments they'd like to cherish forever.
sketchbook safari happens on saturday 7 december, from 10am – 2pm. the meeting point will be tashkeel al fahidi (house 10) in the historical neighbourhood in bur dubai. for more information and to signup, head to the workshop page here.
looking forward to meeting sketching enthusiasts very soon. don't forget to bring your sketchbooks, and make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

* update on 5 december 2019: 'sketchbook safari' has been canceled due to lack of signups. hopefully we'll be able to offer the workshop again some time soon, while the weather is still good.*



'blaze' for corniche comic book . 2019

if you're a follower of my blog, you might've noticed my interest in making comics. this year, i attended a few book fairs and comic festivals, including elcaf, cairo comix, and the recent second edition of focal point in sharjah. i've been so inspired by all the amazing printed matter i've come across, i'm so ready to get back into making more publications and zines. i love telling stories, and comics/zines is such a fun way to do so.
i worked on a couple of mini comics and zines this year, and i'm so happy to announce that one of my stories has been included in a publication! 'corniche', launched at this year's focal point, is an anthology of collected mini comics and short stories created by some of the coolest creatives in town during a comic makers workshop in the end of september, organised by the sharjah art foundation. i'm so honoured that my mini comic 'blaze' is included in 'corniche', and even more excited to be published alongside such awesome talent. each story is so unique and fun to read, and the cover illustration is by the one and only nasir nasrallah. you must get your own copy, especially if you're a comics aficionado like myself. 'corniche' is currently sold at the foundation's shop. head down there to grab a copy, or get in touch and i can help you out. 
thank you to the saf team for having me involved in 'corniche'. this is the first time a comic of mine is published in a book. i hope everyone who owns a copy enjoys the stories included.


the palm tree of life

the palm tree of life . 2019

the palm tree of life . 2019

the palm tree of life . 2019

the palm tree of life . 2019

the palm tree of life . 2019

here it is, my latest textile piece – the palm tree of life! if you didn't catch my previous post/announcement, i'm exhibiting new textile work in the group exhibition 'fashcultivate' at 1971: design space, sharjah. the exhibition showcases commissioned works by seven talented designers whose practise focus on fashion and/or textiles. as someone who's trying to keep an ongoing textiles practise, i was so glad to be invited to participate in the show.
to briefly explain the theme of the exhibition, the participating designers were requested to make works responding to the date palm, as it is an important tree in the history of the region and nation – a source for food, shelter, and material used in weaving traditional crafts. for my contribution, i wanted to create work that was a true reflection of my personal relationship with the date palm. below is my artist statement which sums up very well the theme behind my piece:

"my connection with the palm tree doesn’t involve an appreciation for dates, or the ability to weave it’s fronds. with much respect towards the vitality and historical relevance of the date palm throughout the region and nation i call home, my attachment with this tree goes beyond the expected. the palm tree has become a sort of recurring visitor in my life; an ageless symbol revealing itself in specific moments.
a palm tree first appeared during my high school days to inform fellow students that ‘the end crowns the work’. it re-emerged to accompany me at university, flanking the main campus walkways and university main building. from bank notes to institutional logos, little man-made islands and expressive markings on walls, the iconic tree has embodied different forms throughout my life, and to this day is always there to say hello! i’ve repeatedly included the palm tree as a visual element throughout my works, be it as a symbol of local culture, or for standing the test of time as the nation constantly evolves – the palm tree stands tall today as the city’s modern towers continue to rise.
i’d like to honour my friend the palm tree, for keeping me grounded and guiding me through life when i least expected it. through researching regional motifs and their symbolic significance, motifs representing the palm tree evoke an immediate reference to the magical ‘tree of life’. the palm tree has become my ‘tree of life’ – providing me with it’s fruit of knowledge, and shelter when protection is needed. ‘the palm tree of life’ is a memorialised depiction of my personal, symbolic relationship with the palm tree, in the form of a carpet. when unfurled to stand upon, i feel protected, grounded, and informed on where life’s journey will take me next.'

the final carpet as seen above is quite exaggerated in scale, and quite minimal in style in comparison to 'islamic' carpets i was  looking at as sources of inspiration during the research process. the final piece includes block printing, appliqué and embroidery techniques that make up the final 'the palm tree of life'. i'm really happy with how it turned out, considering the amount of difficulties i encountered during the production of this piece, especially when trying to find an embroiderer to work with. regardless, i really like the end result, and feel it is a true reflection of myself and the work i do, quite recognisable when placed with the other beautiful pieces in the show.
i'd really like to thank the curators fatma and khulood for inviting me to be a part of the show. a huge thanks also goes to the 1971 team for taking care of the work as i handed it over for exhibition and inclusion in their permanent collection (congratulations to me!). to the tailors and embroiderers who helped on this, thank you for eventually warming up to the idea of working on such a large piece! lastly, to my friends who were around during stressful times to make sure i didn't give into defeat, thank you.
'fashcultivate' is currently on view, and closes on 8 feb 2020. there's plenty of time to check out the show, so make sure you do if you still haven't. for more information on the exhibition, head here.


narrative patterns at dubai design week

narrative patterns workshop e-vite . 2019

dubai design week is right around the corner! as part of their workshop programme, i will be hosting a 'narrative patterns' workshop, where participants will create stamps to print patterns with onto various surfaces. participants are encouraged to bring their own surfaces they'd like to print on (such as t-shirts, tote bags, etc.). i will also be providing plain fabrics to print on as well.
the theme of the workshop is to work on patterns that communicate a story or narrative, using limited resources and materials that are inexpensive. that way, participants can repeat the process taught at the workshop in their homes or studios if they don't have access to a fully functional printshop. the workshop will begin with a brief presentation about patterns and their various applications, and a quick demonstration on how to create stamps that will be used during the printing process. the remainder of the workshop will allow participants to get their hands dirty to create their own stamps and print various repeat pattern applications onto their chosen surface.
'narrative patterns' will happen on wednesday, 13 november, from 12:30 – 2:30 pm at the 'making space' in building 5, dubai design district (d3). this workshop will have a fee of aed 100, which will be paid in cash on the day. if you'd like to register, please send me an email on khalid.mezaina@gmail.com to confirm your spot – spaces are limited to 10 seats only. for more information on the workshop, please head to the event page here.
if you've missed my previous printing on textiles workshops, now's your chance! looking forward to seeing you all at the workshop.


focal point 2019

focal point art book fair e-vite . 2019

the sharjah art foundation's focal point art book fair is back! and i'm so excited to be a part of it again. for it's second edition, the fair will be highlighting independent and mainstream printed matter from local, regional and international publishers, as well as (my favourite part about this year) focusing on comics and zines!!!
my publications will be available for sale once again on the foundation's curated table. i'll be stocking current titles such as big city trails, capes make the man, fade away & illustrate one & twofeast: shopopolis, never forget: an illustrated guide to dubai's best kept secrets, we met on the dance floor, and titles i worked on this year including drag partysaturdaze and blaze, the latter being featured in the foundation's upcoming publication titled 'corniche' – a collected anthology of mini comics resulting from the comic makers workshop in september.
focal point happens from 14–16 november, at bait al shamsi. for more details on focal point, head to the event page here.
i'm so looking forward to focal point this year, and i hope to see a lot of familiar faces too!



'fashcultivate' evite . 2019

i'm happy to announce my participation in 1971 - design space's upcoming exhibition – 'fashcultivate'. the exhibition will showcase newly commissioned works by a group of artists and designers focusing on fashion and textiles. each participant created new works inspired by the 'phoenix dactylifera', better known as the date palm tree.
it feels like 2019 is the year where i introduce my textiles practise to the art community! with my first textile project post grad school at the beginning of the year (see here), along with showcasing my thesis project at tashkeel (see here), i'm so glad to have squeezed one more textile project before the year's up. the piece for this exhibition is quite different from my previous textile works – i tend to work on textile pieces for the body. however on this occasion, i decided to work on a 'carpet', referencing the rich culture of ornamental, islamic carpets from the region. i won't reveal much just yet, so stay tuned for a future post revealing the final piece with accompanying information.
until then, i hope whoever's reading this can make it to sharjah for the opening of 'fashcultivate' on saturday 2 november 2019, from 4.30pm onwards. for details on 'fashcultivate' head to the exhibition page here. see you at the opening!