Khalid Al Banna
Stories told, untold, aspects of daily life, personal and collected memories, and the ever changing urban landscapes inform Domestic Affairs, featuring works by Emirati artist Khalid Al Banna, Pakistani artist Aisha Khalid, and Iranian artists Nargess Hashemi, Zahra Imani and Sara Rahmanian. This show draws on the domesticity and intimacy of everyday life through materiality of textile and manifestation of the body, thereby giving birth to images of lost traditions, nostalgia, public appearances, and evoking ambiguous feelings of comfort.
While textile and text are etymologically linked through Latin words textere (to weave) and textus (a fabric), there is a sense of comfort with the mystery of textile, and something ephemeral and transient in the way these works are open to change. Drawing upon this, Al Banna fearlessly assembles pieces of patterned cloth in circular abstract formations to reminisces about the lost traditions and cultural values in his native United Arab Emirates. In most cases, the works are not informed by the frames that surround them, instead each maintains its organic flow in the way it is presented. Sometimes they are even placed on the floor to emphasise the materiality of the cloth, such as Khalid's Comforter, which hovers just eight inches from the floor, balancing lightness with its fierce colour and form, and eloquently defying the inherent risks of beauty and tradition.
Imani, on the other hand, is not afraid of beauty and ornamentation - which is often criticised as decorative and shallow - to create large-scale drapery that combines visual and tactile qualities of the fabric to render interior scenes. Hashemi and Rahmanian's more expressive investigations of the body delves into intimate gestures in the context of the home. Their canvasses are filled with repetitive and mundane activities. Every motif, form and structure is emphasised upon to allow us to see the qualities and processes of everyday life.
Domestic Affairs is a light-hearted show that builds on the gallery's on going collaboration with Khalid and Hashemi in conversation with new voices emerging from the Emirates and Iran. The exhibition allows the viewers to intuitively engage with the works by drawing on personal memory and shared experiences.
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