(The National News) Eyes Wide Shut, co-curated by Océane Sailly, explores female trauma and healing

(The National News) Eyes Wide Shut, co-curated by Océane Sailly, explores female trauma and healing

Curated by Celine Azem, Mara Firetti and Océane Sailly,, the show features 10 women artists from different generations and levels.

Hailing from the UAE, Iran, Armenia, Ukraine, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Kuwait, they include Qamar Abdulmalik, Sawsan Al Bahar, Afra Al Suwaidi, Amani AlThuwaini, Khawla Almarzooqi, Negin Fallah, Annie Kurkdjian, Alymamah Rashed, Maria Shapranova and Amina Yahia.

Excerpt on Qamar Abdulmalik: "Palestinian artist Abdulmalik, who lives in Saudi Arabia, also uses the fantastical to comment on politics. Through a stop-motion film and three collages, she depicts her alter-ego journeying via a lift to a world constructed from papier-mache: the Egyptian embassy in Riyadh, which handles identity papers for Palestinian refugees. Flush with images of passports, the artworks exaggerate the absurdity of an undocumented immigrant’s quotidian challenges." 

Excerpt on Alymamah Rashed: "The show’s centrepiece is Kuwaiti artist Rashed’s My eye splits your love to hold us closer to our depths (I will meet you there), a floor-to-ceiling watercolour occupying the gallery’s back wall. Rashed, too, has a distinct surrealist style, recently seen in full glory at her solo show at Tabari Artspace last May. This piece de resistance ties the exhibition together through its sheer magnitude and abstracted, poetic exploration of the female body. Incorporating her botanical research on the palms of Kuwait, Rashed explores her subjectivity between the binaries of East and West by depicting the female body as an enormous palm tree. Paint cascades into the “trunk” of the body, dripping down into palm fronds as limbs, with an eye at the top and an eye at the bottom — the gaze, hers, the figures and ours, are both decentred and interrupted."


Read the article by Vamika Sinha on The National News website

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