26.7.21

a scribe for a stamp unused

'ancient egyptian scribe' . 2021

'ancient egyptian scribe' stamp application . 2021

keeping this post short and sweet – i recently worked on a couple of illustrations for application on a postage stamp, for a client's upcoming project. i can't share the final selected illustration just yet, but i was really happy with how this illustration turned out, and felt it was worth sharing even though it won't be used.
i immediately thought of the origins of the first writing tools created. i came across the scribes of ancient egypt and was inspired by the beautiful hieroglyphs showing these honourable men and/or women who were trained to read and write, and document what is now their ancient histories. 
i feel this particular illustration is a slightly new direction to my current style, but still very much me. i was curious to see how the illustration would look like as a stamp, so i dropped it into a postage stamp template (as shown above). i hope whoever sees this likes it as much as i do, and it reminds them of the beautiful stamp designs that were created in the arab world of yesteryear...

24.7.21

sina

sina . 2021

the kindest soul i've ever known has left this world. a woman with the purest heart, always putting others before herself. she didn't have the easiest life, but her faith and spirit was never broken. i'm so blessed our paths crossed on this earth, and i felt her love since the day i was born.
to grieve the loss of a loved one is always hard and extremely personal. but when someone special impacts your world, you can't help but share the love. it's hard not to get emotional, but there's so much love when i think about her, there's no other way to remember her legacy but in the best of light. 
i'm going to miss you so much. rest in peace sina. you'll always be with me, never forgotten. i love you and thank you, for everything...

23.7.21

navigating digital identities

'the histories we create' . 2021

'translations, bodies and paratexts' . 2021

'representing humanity in a virtual reality' . 2021

'bias and inequity in the digital space' . 2021

i'm really happy to be sharing this project i've been working on with the nyuad art gallery over the last couple of months. i was invited by the gallery to work on live illustrations for their online talk series 'navigating digital identities', in conjunction with the online exhibition 'not in, of, along, or relating to a line'.
each talk centred around specific themes from the show, with invited speakers and exhibiting artists discussing topics ranging from speculative narratives to discrimination on digital platforms. the discussions were extremely fascinating and i learnt so much from attending and illustrating ideas and points shared by all the speakers.
i tend to get very nervous when working on live illustrations and generally avoid them. i begin to question whether i'm illustrating the right points, or whether my on the spot drawings are even good! it's definitely a certain skill that comes with practise, and this opportunity was definitely helpful in building confidence and getting more comfortable with the process of live, visual note taking.
the illustrations above are the final results from all four panel talks. i'm really satisfied with how they turned out. in the end, i realised that it's not about accurately documenting what's being communicated, but more an artist's interpretation of an event. with that in mind, i tried to be playful with what i illustrated during the 60 minutes of each talk, highlighting topics and discussions the way i understood it.
i'm really excited to be sharing these, as they're quite different from past client-based illustration projects i've worked on. thank you to the nyuad art gallery team, for having me on board and for their patience as i tried to deliver these illustrations on time. lastly, if anyone's interested in viewing any of the talks, they're all available to watch online via the gallery's youtube page. if you do watch them, maybe you can reference the illustrations and compare notes!!!

14.7.21

city scarf at made in tashkeel

city scarf at made in tashkeel . 2021

city scarf at made in tashkeel (detail) . 2021

city scarf at made in tashkeel . 2021

city scarf at made in tashkeel (detail) . 2021

my favourite tashkeel exhibition is back! 'made in tashkeel' is here for the summer, and i'm happy to announce my participation with a new textile piece.
titled 'city scarf', the initial design was created as a prototype pitched for an upcoming shop selling locally designed products. unfortunately, the scarf got rejected, but everything happens for a reason i guess. 'city scarf' was designed as a wearable headscarf, which can also be worn around your neck and over your shoulders. the scarf is made of linen, hand dyed and screen printed in the textiles studio at tashkeel. the visuals reference the architectural vernacular around the city – from traditional wind towers to today's modern glass towers. when adorned, it's as if the wearer is carrying a part of the city with them at all times.
this is my fourth time exhibiting in a 'made in tashkeel' show. i look forward to this exhibition each year as it showcases works by tashkeel members and from the wider tashkeel family. it's an approachable exhibition, filled with humble, genuine works that doesn't feel pretentious. it's also an authentic showcase of the local art scene and what is really happening here.
this year's 'made in tashkeel' is really great and if you're in town please check it out. the exhibition is officially open and runs until september 7. for details on the show, to book your slot to visit the gallery, or to attend a guided tour, check out the exhibition page via tashkeel's website. there's also an online catalogue to download and learn more about each artist and their works, as well as a few workshops scheduled over the coming months (including a screen printing workshop by me).
thank you team tashkeel for having me be a part of 'made in tashkeel' once again...

1.7.21

summer camp screenprinting goodies

'screen printing goodies' workshop announcement . 2021 (courtesy of tashkeel)

it's that time of year again – summer is upon us and the heat is on! it's also the season where tashkeel's 'summer camp' is back! i'll be teaching a 'screenprinting goodies' workshop for children aged 12-16. kids will learn how to create stencil designs using drawing fluid and screen filler, directly drawing on a silkscreen to create their designs and print onto tees, totes, or anything else!
'screenprinting goodies' will happen on saturday, 15 july, from 10am – 1pm. for registration details, and more information on the workshop, click here
if screenprinting isn't your cup of tea, there are other fun workshops being offered during summer camp for age groups 8-11 and 12-16 – check out the listings on tashkeel's workshops page here.
as i post this, there are only 2 spots remaining in 'screenprinting goodies'. so make sure to register soon to not want to lose your spot.
looking forward to seeing you all at tashkeel's summer camp...

18.6.21

scripts and calligraphy: a timeless journey

scripts and calligraphy: a timeless journey e-announcement . 2021

i have another international exhibition announcement to make – i'm exhibiting my work in saudi arabia!
if you happen to be in saudi, please do attend the 'scripts and calligraphy: a timeless journey' exhibition at the national museum in riyadh. the exhibition is an extensive look into the art and history of calligraphy and the arabic script. i'm included in the second iteration of the 'nomadic scripts' showcase, curated by huda abifares of the khatt foundation (check out a previous post of my participation in the first 'nomadic traces' here).
nomadic traces 2.0 continues to highlight historical scripts that preceded arabic through designed objects. i'm so happy to be exhibiting my 'if speech is silver...' textiles series once again, especially in saudi where some of the selected scripts i worked with on my pieces originate from the area. along with the three existing pieces that were exhibited in 2019, i also have a new piece specifically commissioned for the show – here's a previous post about the entire collection.
'scripts and calligraphy[..]' runs until 21 august 2021. if you check out the exhibition, please share pictures if you can, as i unfortunately won't be able to attend. hopefully i'll share exhibition/installation photos in a future post...

7.6.21

east – east: vol 4: the curio shop

'east – east: vol 4: the curio shop' e-announcement . 2021 (courtesy of sophie mayuko arni)


i'm exhibiting in tokyo!!! i'm very happy to announce that i am part of the fourth volume of the 'east – east' group show. i participated in the first two volumes back in 2016 (see volume 1 & volume 2), and was my last exhibition in the emirates before moving away for the next two years to pursue my mfa. i'm so glad to be back for the fourth edition, this time in japan!!!
curated by sophie mayuko arni, the exhibition will spread across three venues around tokyo between june and july. please find more information on the exhibition below:

east – east: volume 4: the curio shop
as asia is increasingly gaining traction as the new cultural epicenter, the ‘east – east’ exhibition series aims to explore the layers of cultural exchange at play between contemporary artists from the arabian gulf and japan.
this fourth volume’s title is ‘the curio shop’. inspired by the title of felice beato’s photograph taken in yokohama in 1868, this exhibition seeks to transpose the idea of the 'curio' in today’s tokyo. 'curios', a 19th-century abbreviation for 'curiosities', is used to describe works of fine craftsmanship sold in japan to early foreign settlers. two centuries later, instead of lacquerware and porcelain vases, anime and digital art have emerged as today’s japanese curios. in the gulf, images of postmodern architecture have emerged as some sort of 'jpg curio', instantly recognisable images of its booming economy. this exhibition will present a contemporary version of a cabinet of curiosities blending these two geographies together.

part i: june 18 – july 2, @ hb.nezu
part ii: july 1 - 24, @ ily hub
part iii: july 8 - 23, @ block house b1f

if anyone's in tokyo, please do check out the exhibition(s). tokyo is one of my favorite cities in the world, and has inspired me in so many ways. i haven't been to tokyo since 2006, but it left such a great impression on me. i can't wait to go back and visit when the world is in a better place.
thank you sophie for including me in your exhibition again. can't wait to see how it all looks once opened – stay tuned for photos in a future post...