‘We do not dwell because we have built, but we build and have built because we dwell, that is, because we are dwellers.’ Heidegger, M. Building Dwelling Thinking. (1971)
I collect redundant, aged objects and have a fondness for items that are on the brink of being condemned, deemed unfit for their intended use or function. With these items there is a beauty and wisdom within them. I photograph and re-use these items, and either relate them as they were intended or transform them, employing a position of high regard or adoration.
My current work utilizes reclaimed items focusing on the use of space; how we interact with it and also how we use it. I have been particularly interested in what a space can provide for us, even if the space is devoid of objects.
The exploration of Portraiture in my practice stems from a fascination with identity and non-identities. Within the act of being photographed, you invariably suffer from a sense of in-authenticity. For me to make an authentic portrait of someone I have to break this barrier. So the work produced challenges our perceptions of what we preconceive a portrait to be. Through the use of certain props, mis-en-scene and Photographic manipulation, such as Double exposure, masks and multi layering. The notion of “beyond a portrait” reveals itself. The images question our social, historical constructs within culture, done so through the use of self-referentiality attached to the myth of the “artist genius”. Landscape, The abstract and Transcendentalism are key themes in all of my work and when photographing, I use a camera as an extension of my own eye. Photography is a form of meditation for me, when making transcriptions of paintings or just photographing natural/Environmental Scenes.
My work proposes elements of design, placement and choice towards various spectacles in society, with my current concerns revolving around the display of imagery and visual communication. There are continuous gestures relating to permanence, existence, spectacle and language in my work, in some way questioning or re-addressing a relationship with it. It is most often through photography that I formalise my work, as it is a medium that deals with image, design and the dialogue of spectacle most directly. ‘Shit Sprayed Chrome’ attempts to create a conversation between notions of Guy Debord’s and the situationists as well as the medium of photography.
“Britain is a nation of animal lover’s with an estimated 8 million dogs in 2011, but with the popularity of owning a pedigree dog comes a darker side of the demand. Inbreeding has become commonplace amongst certain breeds, to continue the desired traits and features, and due to this, suffering and despair prevail. As a pedigree dog owner myself, I wish to express the distress not only for the dog itself, but also for the owner fighting the defects that appear through inbreeding. The notion of inbreeding in humans is taboo for a reason, so why would we willingly put other species through this just for aesthetic purposes?
My main interest is the transformation of materials; I have been exploring the process of melting and sculpting with sugar as it offers a clear renewal of an object, from being contained by context as a household commodity, the material starting off being white and granular, to becoming beautiful, gold singular strands. My work is always created in the space in which it’s exhibited due to its fragility; viewers will experience a sweet familiar smell that isn’t usually experienced in a gallery context as I present this process through the means of a live performance.
Relationships between families and photography go hand in hand. Whenever you have a family occasion or get together there are almost always photography involved be it a little disposable camera or your generic digital camera. But how can these photographs be portrayed as art? How can they be viewed as art? And how can you manipulate them into art?
Photographing disruption and dis-functionality within my own family is the focus of my practice. Being able to noticing key moments that have not be set up and producing a photograph with a emotional effect is a big part of this.
Using and taking photographs is a big part of my practice but I also use photographs from my past or childhood. Photographs that I have not taken myself but feature key moments in my life and teaming them with photographs I have taken myself. This is to show changes in relationships and changes within my own life which are drastic when looking at key relationships in my life.
The significance between the photographs to the viewer is a very close, because each person has someone in their life that they have been become distant to be it a friend or a family member which I feel adds the impact to the photographs. Even though the viewers do not know my family they will relate to the photographs through their own relationships within their life.
According to Baudrillard, postmodern culture has become so reliant on models and maps that we have lost all contact with the real world that preceded the map. Reality itself has begun merely to imitate the model, which now precedes and determines the real world.
There is no longer any distinction between reality and its representation; there is only the simulacrum.Through site specific installations, Baudrillard’s theory of simulation and simulacra is playfully explored. Both object and space are replicated and reinvented, encouraging discourse with regards to the original and the simulated.
The relationship I have with bright colours represents liveliness and spontaneity, and it is this I like to explore with opposite mediums which I then create a stimulating contrast. I seek my artistic needs out in some way. It is usually changed with colour in my mind.
In the world of contemporary art we are more imaginative with our perceptions, we do not just look at the aesthetics of the image we go deeper using the power of our intellect. Everyone makes a connection when we use our sensory knowledge; it is this philosophical connection that intrigues me. The idea of one being a dualist body, that our mind and body are separate, is significant to observe how they connect. More specifically I believe the mind/body problem to be the one of the most perplexing aspects of human life, I have used my research from the philosophy of neuroscience to develop my concept of the ‘ghost in the machine’. My watercolour painting represents the concept of where the soul seats, and the casts of coffee cups represent memory and vulnerability of the brain. The casts are arranged in the shape of the temporal lobe to represent where we experience aspects of emotion and memory; this is relevant to desire, which I believe is linked to the soul.
Arab society has too many outdated traditions that have caused centuries of suffering for women. As an Arab woman, I am outraged and I demand a change in people’s mentalities. "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”, Martin Luther King, Jr.
As artists we are encouraged to visit exhibitions to view the works that have been created before us. Each painting is a window into another person’s history as they witnessed it. But what happens when we are unable to see that artwork anymore? Over history many artworks have been stolen, lost or destroyed. We are only left with the copies that are but a ghost compared to the original painting. We find these copies in books, posters, postcards and with modern day technology the internet. Every time they are reproduced they become more and more distorted, whether through quality of colour, detail and texture. As technology progresses less people care about the object and care only for the image.
How do we define ourselves in this media-driven world? Throughout my work I have investigated the ideas of portraiture after pop-cultural saturation. At present I am exploring the use of stitch drawing and animation to comment on contemporary cultural position.
My art revolves around memory and the feelings which come from those particular memories. Emotion is very much attached to memory; memories that we are most likely to remember are those which were emotional.
The places in the photographs are places which I remember visiting when I was younger; recently I have revisited them, photographing the images which are in my mind. I used more than one image in each photograph, which creates a new world, stirring memories not only for myself but also for it’s viewer.
The photograph is one of the most vital ways of triggering memory, as it is able to capture a memory and bring it back to life in the present day. The camera has the ability to capture events which we do not want to forget. Memory seems to reside within a photographic image, as there are a thousand words in a single photograph.
My work is based on the shrine and the shrine like. I use photography to portray a history and moment in time through objects that we associate as shrines found at the roadside In memory of love ones. The themes that influence the kind of objects I use are grief, a grief or a loss of a relationship. The objects used are teddy bears, helium balloons, fake flowers and chocolates. These objects I have collected or already owned associated with the loss of my own personal relationship. Grief is a key theme that runs throughout my work whether it’s the grief for someone who has died or the loss of a relationship it is all a form of grief.
“Love’s greatest gift is its ability to make everything it touches sacred.” Barbara de Angelis
“Grief is only the memory of widowed affections.” James Martineau