Najlaa was appointed by Arts Canteen to curate the visual arts exhibition Textural Threads for The AWAN ( Arab women Artists Festival) 2016 at Rich Mix London.
"Textural Threads'' defines the moment to provide an artistic platform for artists and audiences to move away from traditional discourses and preconceptions and to open up a productive dialogue on universal issues of gender, identity, culture and the human body.
Takwa Barnosa, Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al-Lail, Dima Nashwai, Meryem Meg and Hania Zaazoua, offer a unique voice to the multifaceted dialogue on contemporary Arab female subjectives and aim to provoke thought and discussion, with a renewed perspective on the role of contemporary art in today's world.
Meryem Meg: Raised between Paris and London, Meg is a multidisciplinary artist with an MA in Graphic Design, who is currently working as a Designer with Nike, London. Her work focuses on symbolism where she often finds herself exercising subconscious healing through the depiction of themes such as fertility, birth and cycles within nature. Meg's passion for race, gender and identity surfaces within her work and she strives to empower women by creating visual affirmations through her art.
Dima Nashawi: Nashawi is a Syrian artist who believes that art goes hand in hand with social activism and is a powerful means for peace building. Her life and work journeys have taken her from Damascus, to Amman, to Beirut, and now London, where she is studying Art and Cultural Management at King’s College. With a BA in Sociology , Nashawi also studied Fine Arts in Syria. Her work experience began as an art illustrator-animator for magazines and online children sites; but, later, she took on social work with the UNHCR to help refugees in Damascus, who came from Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Iran and Iraq. She herself then became a refugee due to the war in Syria and found herself in Beirut working again with refugees, this time with children and using art as a means of healing. Nashawi’s illustrations are delicate, feminine, intricate and with many times a fairytale element to them. They reflect on her personal experiences so far, her travels around the Middle East and always engaging with the deeper subject of human rights around the world.
Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al Lail: Raised between Saudi Arabia and the UK, with an MA in Photography, Al Lail seeks to find solace through her art where agendas of identity, self and space are the tools of her practice. Her personal experiences have shaped the way she perceives fluidity and dynamism of cultural identities. Her art attempts to understand how interactions between collective memories of different cultures create a unique set of problems for the individual. She has been exhibited in the UK and Saudi Arabia and is also one of the Founders of Variant Space, a platform for emerging women Muslim artists living in the UK seeking a discourse through the visual arts.
Hania Zaazoua: Zaazoua is an Algerian designer, visual artist and stylist. She is a graduate of Fine Arts and is the Design Director at Bergson & Jung in Algiers as well as having established her own interior design brand called 'Brokk'Art' in 2012. Zaazou draws her inspiration from her wanderings, whether real or virtual, to create work that is an invitation to a teasing journey of the almost trivial dream world to exploring an alternative version of the society that she lives in.
Takwa Barnosa: Barnosa is a young Libyan artist who is currently studying for her Bachelors in Fine Arts at the University of Tripoli. She is a very talented calligraphy artist who is venturing into the fusion of calligraphy with different forms of mixed media. Her work is a response to her daily struggles as a female living in Tripoli and what this entails. She seeks solace through her simple depictions of singular Arabic words that become descriptive of her inner landscape as well as of her surrounding environment.
Exclusive Media partner Al Ghad Al Arabi قناة الغد العربي.
Supported by Arts Council England.