|'al haraka baraka: in movement there is blessing' evite . 2016|
|'emirian' process sketches . 2016|
|'to drink' textile design . 2016|
|'to rest' textile design . 2016|
|'to wander' textile design . 2016|
|emirian . 2016|
|emirian . 2016|
|emirian . 2016|
i am participating in a new exhibition at the maraya art centre titled 'al haraka baraka: in movement there is blessing', a group show of newly commissioned works for the private collection of his highness sheikh zayed bin sultan bin khalifa al nahyan. commissioned by uae unlimited arab exploration, the theme of the exhibition explores the rich mix of cultures that have long existed in the uae and the influence of these cultural migrations. for the exhibition, i created a new artwork titled 'emirian', which simply means an emirati, or a person from the uae. i remember growing up learning the term emirian. but over the years, its been replaced with emirati. the final artwork shown above is made of an acquired trolley from the souk, along with digitally printed stuffed textiles, and wallpaper. its the first time i've exhibited an installation piece, still involving my main mediums of interest - illustration and textiles. below is the artist statement that explains the theme of the project.
"i believe that culture is what you construct for yourself and is unique to everyone else's definition and experience. i've always felt disconnected with traditions from my heritage, resulting in moulding a culture of my own due to the country's constant change and foreign influences. through my current research on personal observations and interactions with older communities, i've begun to reconnect with certain areas around dubai. these were once an integral part of the development of the uae and were an important part of my life growing up. the disconnection was due to the rapid change the city underwent in the last 15 years. today as a practicing artist, this reconnection is both nostalgic and an experience completely different to what i remember in my youth. interactions have become more personal. in turn, exploring these areas as an adult is inspiring. i wander these areas, in search of new yet familiar experiences, moving forward into the future with what was once taken for granted in the past. just like the iconic trolley handlers swarm these areas, i compare myself to these individuals who move items, experiences and culture from place to place. my trolley is stacked with bundled textiles that reflect and communicate the contents of my personal definition of culture. the contents are concealed, but the patterns adorning the wrapped textiles giving meaning to what is underneath. my culture is a collection of influences on music, food, attire, dance and rituals from various geographic sources. i share my culture with an audience that continues to influence me, in hopes of impacting others wanting to influence each other the same way."
a few thank yous to all that helped with making this artwork come to life – first off, thank you to the maraya art centre and uae unlimited arab exploration teams for including me in this exhibition and your support with bringing this project to life and exhibiting it in the best possible way. to my dear friend abdul who i've known for almost 2 decades, thank you for helping with acquiring a trolley. the artwork wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for your important contribution. thank you mermaid digital printing l.l.c for printing my textiles beautifully. lastly, to my friends who contributed with their honest feedback and suggestions. love you all.
'al haraka baraka: in movement there is blessing' runs until 30 april 2016. please do make sure to check it out. for more information on the exhibition, please check the link here.