A discussion about art, design, and living creatively with female artists and makers from across the MENASA region.
In this episode, Franco Egyptian artist Hoda Tawakol talks about the inspiration behind her distinguishable voluminous fabric sculptures, her collaborative work with the Persian trio Hesam Rahmanian and Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh in the midst of a pandemic, and the final push that got her to listen to her truth and transition into a career as a fulltime artist. Hoda talks about the importance of the materials she uses, her creative process, and how a small project initiated by her friend Abed Alkadiri pulled her out of a major low during the early days of the pandemic.
In this episode I get to talk to the amazing and inspiring Manal Al Dowayan. @manaldowayan takes us on a journey from her early days of black and white photography to her most recent trampoline installations in the ancient city of Al Ula @_desertx . She shares with us about the times when she would secretly take art classes and how art residencies played an important role in her career. Manal talks about visualizing the life she wanted and how she finds inspiration and strength by surrounding and immersing herself in a female community both in her professional and personal life.
Kicking off season 2 with multi media artist Alia Ali. Alia dives deep into her practice, expanding on how her work is driven by her multicultural Yemeni-Bosnian roots within a geopolitical context. We learn about her love and deep connection with textile, the reason behind her “faceless” images, and the power of repeated texts. Alia gives us a look into her day to day studio practice and the things she draws inspiration from which contribute to her creative living.
Wrapping up season 1 of Tavan Studio in Conversation with an in-depth chat about frescos, surfaces, decay, and time with artist and muralist Chafa Ghaddar. Chafa walks us through her journey of observing the natural and also distressed landscapes of Lebanon and the transition to the heat and crystal blue pool surfaces of Dubai and how that has impacted her fresco thought process and work. Chafa also opens up about her experience as a new mother and gives us a very honest and raw depiction of her time spent during the lockdown.
Afra Al Dhaheri
In this episode I get to sit down and have a late night chat with visual artist Afra Al Dhaheri. Afra's work is rooted in her experiences growing up in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE – a place of recent and rapid change. We really get to go deep into her practice and the visual language of her work, her relationship with materials, and the questions she ponders while creating . We also talk about the importance of choosing the right gallery to be represented by, how productivity and creativity have been challenged during the lock down, and much more. Afra is also an Assistant Professor in Visual Arts at Zayed University , Abu Dhabi, and the cofounder of Bait15.
You can follow Afra on instagram @afra_aldhaheri
Nahla Al Tabbaa
Nahla Al Tabbaa is an independent educator, artist, consultant and urban researcher with various institutions including Art Jameel, Frying Pan Adventures, previously the Sharjah Art Foundation, and the co-founder of Daftar Asfar, an artist sketchbook platform.
In this episode we delve deep into Nahla's socially engaged art practice, her love of food and storytelling, her approach to the reactivity of art especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and how all her various interests and skills enhance and complement one another to create her wholehearted creative lifestyle.
You can find her on instagram @nahlatabbaa
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