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Artwork

Binary (April 2016)

Medium: water soluble crayons and acrylic inks.

Experimenting with polarities of colours and textures, as metaphor for extremes in thinking and being (see Binary blogpost).

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Body Count Study (November 2015)

Medium: tea, coffee granules, cigarette ash and black ink.

Series of drawings made during my time as an Outreach Worker with Iraq Body Count, working on Iraq Digital Memorial. After a particularly difficult week, meeting people who have lost close family members and friends in Iraq, I found myself sleepless and frantically making these in the early hours. Nameless and faceless figures, representatives of the many who have fallen, and continue to fall to violence. I wanted the obscure, incomplete abstractness of the figures, which to me reflected the open-ended experiences of those who had lost loved ones. These losses were sudden, unexpected, often gruesome, which added to the usual grieving process following any death.

Wales Residency (July 2013)

Medium: Acrylic inks.

I began working on a solo performance piece in Wales, with the Authentic Artists Network, and whilst others worked on their pieces, the rest of us wrote and drew with a mix of our own stuff or/ and what we were witnessing from other people’s works. Some shared dance choreography, others worked on their voices, some had more developed pieces that required all of us to volunteer in. I had just started my own performance modules working with leftover stuff from my community work, centring around issues of identity and belonging, migration and integration, woman-ness and female sensuality in Middle Eastern cultures as well as spirituality and popular culture. Below, I set myself the challenge of working with limited colours- and very different choices to my usual monochromes- to see what comes out, and the below are a few from my sketchbook.

Come to Me: Collective Exhibition (November 2012)

Works done whilst on a Sufi spiritual retreat in New Mexico, which was accepted by an interfaith organisation, Three Faiths Forum, as part of their Urban Dialogues visual art exhibition in 2012, at the Red Gallery in East London. The original blurb I wrote for the exhibit is below, which clearly shows my high state of mind at the time!

‘Come to Me’ delves into the juxtaposition of spirituality and female sensuality. Conservative Muslim communities assign women greater responsibility towards guarding themselves from the male gaze, whilst her own sensual desires are rarely addressed. The text is from a classical Arabic song, by the Egyptian singer, Fareed al-Atresh: ‘In the stillness of the night, I call for you, my love, come to me when I am all alone’.

What applies to continents, countries, ethnic and religious groups also applies to the conflict and peace within the self. In the process of finding a core of faith, an inner thread, to reconcile personal existential anxieties, can we then apply this experience towards a wider societal context? And by working on our own spiritual peace, do we not, via cosmic empathy, effect the world we live in?

Sufi spiritual practice focuses on ‘Al-Baatin’ refers to the inner, mystical or hidden dimension of the message of God, as conveyed in the Qur’an, as opposed to the literal/ dhaahir meaning of what is written. The hidden can only be relieved to those in a pure, meditative state, as opposed to those who prioritise societal conventions and didactic rules and ways of being-in-the-world.

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