I’ve always loved reading. Conceptually, I’m attached to this sequential organization that books create: a practically paced build-up of a narrative. I appreciate the patience required to follow one thing to another, move through each necessary step, page after page.
This construction mirrors the systemic approach I have while processing my thoughts. I find this comes through in my journals, which are filled with graphs, tables and lines. These, along with drawings across pages, creates a visual for the methodical breakdowns in my brain.
I also find that in using the oldest tools for communication - paper and ink - the process becomes archival, dutiful and purposeful. For me, it draws on nostalgia and legacy. My grandparents left us their notebooks and their diaries and while reading them, it was clear they were always writing knowing that their work would be read by others. Making art with the purpose of sharing or dissemination is present throughout all my work, but the importance of physical materiality especially comes through in writing, producing and creating books.
Bringing together the artist’s visual and culinary practices, this almanac-like publication designed in collaboration with Layan Attari features recipes and colour swatches derived from ingredients dried on the roof of Jameel Arts Centre and Tabbaa’s study of the sunrise and sunset.
Tabbaa uses recipe-writing as a means to draw up analogies and metaphors. Nonhuman beings are personified, given a wide range of feelings and put through evocative processes echoing emotional states, such as uprooting. Her recipes are both instructional and poignant: they evoke a culture of sharing and display a complex knowledge of the materials at hand.
- Lucas Morrin
I began an investigation into talismanic magic squares, and sacred mathematics as a language and gateway to the divine, a spiritual algorithm of sorts. I used dice and play to construct a series of drawings based on the outcomes of three squares: symbols, sounds, thoughts and shapes that ground me; numbers to help me plot distances; and colours.
The outcomes have been unpredictable and yet somehow make so much sense. Due to the collaborative nature of this project, the intangible immateriality of the divine, and my own desires and thoughts, I do believe that these drawings are protective, grounding talismans meant to be decoded by my heart and soul.
Gifted to me by my dear friend Sarah Ahmed aka Jaffat Al Aqlam, this hand-bound mini sketchbook became an opportunity for me to reflect and mourn the absence of a departed loved one.
The shared bed was a sacred space, and yet it was also fragile and easily shook. Other times it was simply a place for the mundane, for rest, for daydreaming.
The pages express in a sense the domestic observation of two very tumultuous and fragile people who are so close in proximity and shared space, and yet so far.
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