capes make the man

'capes make the man' at risd grad show . 2018

'capes make the man' at risd grad show . 2018

'warrior' cape (detail) . 2018

'dancer' cape (detail) . 2018

'lover' cape (detail) . 2018

'capes make the man' at risd textiles show, nyc . 2018

'king' cape . 2018

'magician' cape (detail) . 2018

'warrior, dancer, lover' capes (detail) . 2018

'lover' cape . 2018

i write this post as an mfa graduate – imma master y'all! i did it, i successfully graduated from the rhode island school of design with a masters of fine arts in textiles. it's been a crazy two years, with many ups and downs, but it sure was a blast. i'm truly grateful for it all. i can't believe it's over – it feels like only yesterday where i was back home in dubai announcing my move to providence to pursue an mfa. now it's over, and i'm ready to move back home to face what comes next.
i share with you my final thesis project titled 'capes make the man'. the project is definitely an outcome of self discovery and growth over the last two years whilst being away from home and family. it truly is a stepping stone for me, and i think the work i produce from now on will not be the same. i most certainly will continue to work within design and illustration, but i think i've found my calling – i enjoy making garments that embody narratives which transform the wearer. i'm not sure yet how i'll be able to include this new interest in my current studio practise once back in dubai, but i'm committed to making it work. i'm very proud of my thesis project, and i hope all of you out there enjoy it too. below is the abstract from my thesis book which briefly explains what my project is about:

‘capes make the man’ is a project that provided me with the opportunity to grow as a designer and an artist. over the last two years at risd, i’ve frequently asked myself questions about my place and role as a man in the united arab emirates, and what awaits when i move back after graduating. using personal narratives and cultural symbols from home, i bring to life the archetypes i carry as a mature masculine – my king, warrior, magician, lover and dancer. the end result is a series of bold, wearable capes, resembling stage costumes worn by pop stars on concert tours. through a combination of screen printing, dyeing and embroidery techniques, the capes visually contextualise these archetypes, what they personally mean to me and the characters i embody when caped.

the photos above do not do justice, but i hope they give a sense of the overall look and feel of the collection. once back home, i do intend on taking proper documentation of the capes, so stay tuned for future posts which should have better photos, as well as a few more details on what informs the narratives behind each cape. until then, i end with a photo of myself in an unflattering graduation robe after the graduation ceremony.

at risd commencement, 2 june . 2018 (photo by hind mezaina)


a post iftar cup of karak

karak house for ramadan . 2018

karak house for ramadan pattern design . 2018

karak house ramadan edition cups (image courtesy of karak house) . 2018

karak house ramadan edition cups (image courtesy of karak house) . 2018

karak house ramadan edition cups (image courtesy of karak house) . 2018

ramadan wishes from providence to all those observing. may god bless you all and your families on this special holy month. 
it doesn't really feel much like ramadan here, but projects like these make it feel festive in some strange way. i had the pleasure of working with karak house again, this time to work on ramadan themed cups. it was a great opportunity to have a break from working on my thesis project at risd (stay tuned for a post on this very soon) and to work on something fun. working with a tight deadline and juggling school work, the end result is pretty cool, fun and festive. 
if you're in dubai for ramadan, please make sure to head to karak house for a post-iftar cup of hot, tasty karak. thank you to the karak house team for reaching out and working together again for another round of designed cups.


culture capital

'culture' themed illustration for dct abu dhabi . 2018

here's an illustration i worked on for abu dhabi's department of culture and tourism. i was invited by the dct team to work on a series of illustrations that highlighted the cultural scene in the uae's capital; from the recently opened louvre abu dhabi to the capital's first cultural center – qasr al hosn, as well as the city's various musical activities and traditional crafts.
the end result is a collage of illustrations presenting the vibrant cultural scene in abu dhabi. i'm not sure what the final illustration will be used for, but i do hope dct enjoy it as much as i did making it.


from barcelona to abu dhabi

'from barcelona to abu dhabi' invite . 2018

'emirian' displayed at 'from barcelona to abu dhabi' . 2018 (image courtesy of admaf)

'emirian' displayed at 'from barcelona to abu dhabi' . 2018 (image courtesy of admaf)

i'm truly honoured to be part of the exhibition 'from barcelona to abu dhabi: works from the barcelona museum of contemporary art (macba) in dialogue with the emirates', which officially opened yesterday. organised by the abu dhabi music and arts foundation (admaf), the exhibition is part of the abu dhabi festival programme, showcasing works from the macba collection alongside works by 20 emirati artists, including myself.
selected for the show was my artwork titled 'emirian', originally commissioned by uae unlimited and exhibited at the maraya art centre in 2016. check out my previous post here with details on the artwork when it was first exhibited.
i'm so humbled to be part of an exhibition that showcases works from the macba's collection spanning over ninety years, as well as exhibiting alongside many of the uae's prominent, established artists from different generations. i really wish i was there to see it all in person. a huge thank you goes out to the admaf team, and curator nasser abdullah for reaching out and working on showing my piece in my absence. really appreciate all the effort put into having me be part of the show.
for full details on the exhibition and programming, head here. 'from barcelona to abu dhabi' runs until 17 march 2018, so make sure to head to manarat al saadiyat to check it out.


the whole nine yards

'the whole nine yards' exhibition poster . 2018

'the whole nine yards' textile graduate biennial show . 2018

'captain emirates' 1 . 2017

'captain emirates' 2 & 3 . 2017

'captain emirates' 1 . 2017

'captain emirates' 2 & 3 . 2017

my first post of 2018! belated new year wishes to all the krossbreed lovers. hope everyone's having a good start to the year so far. i'm back in providence for my final semester at risd. i still can't believe that it'll all be over in five months. but until then, there's loads to do. as always, will be sharing updates and projects, both in and out of risd.
the 2018 edition of the textiles graduate biennial show opened yesterday at the sol koffler graduate student gallery. titled 'the whole nine yards', the exhibition showcases works from both the first and second year textile grad students. there's lots to see, both finished pieces and process works, giving a little glimpse into what happens in our studios.
selected works for the exhibition include my final collection from last semester. titled 'captain emirates' (hah!), the collection takes inspiration from various male archetypes , as well as male representations in the uae from over the years. for more details on the project, check out my previous post here.
thank you to everyone that came down to yesterday's opening. it was great seeing a busy gallery space and hearing feedback about everyone's works. i'm really glad that people are responding positively towards my work. gives me comfort that i'm on the right track towards my final thesis project.
if you missed last night's opening, and are based in providence, the exhibition runs until 18 feb 2018. the sol koffler gallery is opened daily from 12 - 8 pm. more details are on the exhibition poster above (which i designed myself. the graphic is an ode to one of my favourite films, mary poppins, as well as the various rejected yet humorous show titles that didn't make it).