Tabari Artspace is delighted to announce ‘Stitched Stories’ a solo exhibition of works by naqsh collective that will mark the gallery’s final exhibition of the 2018-19 art season.
One concern in this era of globalization is that regional design traditions and visual cultures will start to fade out, which is why the work of naqsh collective (previously shortlisted for the Jameel Art Prize 5, 2018) is all the more important. The Jordanian sisters behind the concept work in unison, taking elements for their previous experiences in graphic design, architecture, embroidery, and jewellery-making to form exquisite works that lift elements from the rich textile traditions of the Middle East, repositioning them in a contemporary context. naqsh collective breathe new life into intricate embroidery designs, each of which tells a story about its place and culture of origin, in place of needle work they introduce unexpected and enduring materials like brass, marble, and wood to create a previously unforeseen aesthetic that is both pleasing to the contemporary gaze and underlines the continued significance of Middle Eastern visual culture in the present day.
On display will be works spanning several series including: Road to Damascus (2016); Road to Egypt (2016); Wihdeh Collection (2015); Jaffa (2015); and Bride's Cushion (2018). Each piece is an education on the nuances that define Middle Eastern culture. The selected piece from the Jaffa series (2015) saw the designers take their inspiration from the storied city and looked to an old photograph of Jaffa port, a destination that was once a thriving trading hub for merchants. Their work highlights Jaffa’s pivotal role in cross-cultural exchange as traders came and went from the cities that dotted the Mediterranean and beyond, bringing with them new ideas, materials, produce and cultures and taking with them a piece of the Middle East. The designs are realized in what the artists describe as “the noble and timeless materials of stone and brass,” choices which are intended to emphasize the enduring appeal of their culture and to continue to tell their stories for generations to come. Also, on display will be the ‘Bridal Cushion’ an evolution of a previous piece, the ‘Bride's Rug’ (2017), which tells the story of a female dowry that the bride would traditionally prepare, shortly before her wedding, to take with her to her new home.
On their aesthetic nermeen abudail says:
“We unleash the potential of Middle Eastern embroidery from its classical frame and pay tribute to the embroidery itself which shaped us. It is love and admiration to our rich heritage and culture that shaped our aesthetic, grasping from our ancestors and reshaping the designs with nisreen's background in architecture along with my graphical understanding.”
One the Jameel Art Prize nisreen abudail says:
“Having our artwork displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and touring the world afterward gave us the chance to tell the story of our pieces worldwide, the initiative of the center plays a major role in creating a platform for international dialogue, therefore providing more opportunities for the artists of the Middle East.”