Beyond the classical quarrel of arts and crafts, woven art has been part of our daily practice across cultures. The story behind each of the represented artworks is the starting point of Fenaa Alawwal‘s latest exhibition, entitled Woven Spaces. On display, there are installations that hold multiple dimensions, exploring in some the liminality of a craft, and interpreting in others the functionality of an object.
Co-curated by Tala Al Ghamdi and Myriam Ryzk, the exhibition features 9 local and international contemporary artists and a collective: Jana Ghalayini, Dana Awartani, Filwa Nazer, Nojoud Al Sudairi, Delphine Denereaz, Manal AlDowayan, Sheila Hicks, Sammy Baloji, and Hanibal Srouji and We Make Carpets.
Woven Spaces offers a contemporary reflection on ways to convey history, tradition, culture, and memory. The mediums used become the expression of the artists’ thoughts: an embroidered tablecloth transforms into a banner, a map becomes a tapestry, ancestors’ roots are engraved on copper looms, old wounds are enclosed in healing bands, and grief is retraced in staged costumes. Here, we explore life superbly praised in lines of fiber, cultural patterns draping women’s garments, Asiri architectural heritage revisited with modern marble, and Riyadh scenery rediscovered with shapes and colors. In the end, the Exhibition presents a diverse approach in mixed media that opens a dialogue among the artists’ artworks, offering hidden dimensions of each story triggered by the material at hand.
There are multiple stories in the way these objects fold and disappear, even when they are open to reveal their intricate designs. Within a newly transformed space, visitors are invited to follow a thread; forming rather than unraveling. Through impressions of objects, we hope to provoke an exploration of these intertwining spaces. This exhibition is a recollection of feelings that emerged from each artist’s mind and life, delicately woven into one experience.
Press release from Fenaa Alawwal.