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Arab Women Artists’ Residency: Farah Al Qasimi

Oct 18 – Oct 31, 2019

The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts

The EFA Studio Program hosts a series of Arab women artists in the year-long program, with the artists – Farah Al Qasimi, Ahaad Alamoudi and Afrah Al Dhaheri – becoming part of this vibrant, cooperative community. Working from a dedicated studio in the acclaimed 90-studio arts building in Manhattan, the artists get to be part of a vibrant, cooperative community dedicated to fostering professional development and encouraging open exchange between artists, curators, critics, and the public.

The first EFA international partnership resident is Emirati artist and musician, Farah Al Qasimi – meet her during the EFA Open Studios and see a showcase of her work which locates the fantastic in the everyday and explores how consumer culture seduces people with promises of beauty or self-improvement.

An artist and musician, Farah Al Qasimi graduated from the Yale School of Art with an MFA in Photography, where she also studied music, earning a Bachelor’s degree. Her practice has moved fluidly between private and public spaces, but the content has primarily remained focused on locating the fantastic in the everyday. She also explores how consumer culture seduces people, particularly women, with promises of beauty or self-improvement.

Al Qasimi has participated in residencies at the Burren College of Art in Ireland, at her studio in Dubai and at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Most recently, she participated in the Sheikha Salama Foundation and Rhode Island School of Design Emerging Artist Fellowship. Recent shows include More Good News (Helena Anrather, 2017) Coming Up Roses at The Third Line, Dubai (2016), the first Biennial for Arab Photography at Institut du Monde Arabe. Paris (2015); Emirati Expressions at Manarat al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi (2015); Walls and Margins at the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah (2015); Accented at Maraya Art Center, Sharjah (2016); and The World is Sinking at The Third Line, Dubai (2014).

Her work is housed in public collections including Barjeel Art Foundation and Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, UAE.

Born in Jeddah and living between Saudi Arabia and London, Ahaad Alamoudi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the Dar Al-Hekma University and a Master’s in Print from the Royal College of Art, London.

Constant moves between life in Saudi Arabia and London informs the analytic, ethnographic approach of Alamoudi’s multidisciplinary works. Straddling two cultures, she finds her place in neither and both, existing in a transitory, in-between state. From this uncertain and productive space, she maps processes of belonging, synthesizing conflicting narratives of national identity and place. Preoccupied with the evolution of cultural narratives, she archives the repositories and props of heritage, exploring how communities measure and preserve their stories and identities via invested, incidental ephemera.

Her recent exhibitions include the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TX (2016), CGP London, London, UK (2016), Al Hangar, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2016), the Venice Biennale, Venice (2013), and Edge of Arabia’s exhibition in Jeddah (2013). In 2011, she was selected by the Crossway Foundation in London to meet with museum curators and artists and collaborated with the British Museum, Tate Modern, and Penguin Books.

Afra Al Dhaheri (b. Abu Dhabi, UAE, 1988) uses a wide range of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture and installation, photography and printmaking. Her heavily process driven practice is forged through these material explorations, underpinned by conceptual and poetic cogitation. Al Dhaheri’s work is rooted in her experiences growing up in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE – a place of recent and rapid change, where deconstruction, recon guration and development are always present on your immediate periphery, a footstep beyond your home threshold.