Culture Weekly

Islamic art at its best

October 6 - October 12, 2021
Gulf Weekly Islamic art at its best
Gulf Weekly Islamic art at its best
Gulf Weekly Islamic art at its best
Gulf Weekly Islamic art at its best
Gulf Weekly Islamic art at its best

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Palestinian textile designer Areen Hassan is showcasing the beauty of Islamic art in her first ever exhibition in Bahrain.

The 27-year-old was invited by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (Baca) to feature her textile pieces at the Art Centre in a month-long exhibition entitled ‘By Areen’.

“As an artist and designer, my work engages with Islamic art as a living art that endlessly sculpts daily life,” said the worldwide exhibitor currently based in Dubai.

“My aim is to go beyond the visual perception of Islamic art to investigate an embodied participatory language through which to represent it. My work blurs the boundaries between humans and objects in a totality that brings forth the vibrancy and harmony of Islamic art.

“The meeting of materials, colours, shapes, orientation and patterns in a composition enables the viewer to observe the work as an embodied universe of symbolic meaning, often showing a concern with the path we take through life.”

Drawing on the embroidery is a tradition from the Levant region and she says that she is modernising and enhancing the methods by playing with technologies and multimedia to experiment with the idea of transparency and reversing the function of a material.

The exhibition, which ends on Friday, showcases an array of designs from conceptual dresses to conceptual rugs as well as wearable art pieces and her overall process.

Her designs were created using different fabrics and the process included silk screen printing, embroidery, unravelling and digital printing too. The rugs were also designed with a placement composition.

“My favourite pieces are the rugs, because through the process of creating the rugs, I grew and explored my identity,” added Areen who has showcased her designs over the years in exhibitions and museums in the US, Germany, and Poland.

She has also worked with studios as a textile designer in Sweden and the UK.

“These rugs reflect a vision of communication with real meaning and enduring values to inspire the audience to communicate the message of love to others. These rug prints are influenced by Wazir Khan Mosque’s wall painting in Pakistan.”

The paintings contain geometric and calligraphy Islamic motifs and she used these themes and combined them into abstract shapes.

“The placement composition converted the mosque’s construction which symbolises the spiritual life and communication,” said the 2019 Justus Brinckmann Incentive award winner. Justus Brinckmann was the first director of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (MKG) in Hamburg where she had exhibited her work. MKG Hamburg’s Islamic department also purchased her work, as did fashion brands such as H&M.

“In the design of the rugs, encounters are held between materials, colours and composition which enable you to observe the contents of the incomplete and the missing, the roots versus the contemporary in relation to the sources of the Islamic faith,” she added.

In the meantime, Areen is working on a new line of wearable dresses for women.

“My aim is to bring Islamic art into our daily life and expose the beauty of it through the Arabian woman,” said Areen.

For more details, visit  @by_areen and @culturebah on Instagram.

More on Culture Weekly