My idea was to create a bridge between watercolours and my end products. The Stratagem show is my very first solo show, and it’s been five years in the making – ever since I moved from London to Beirut. This is a personal collection, one that was a virtual therapy for me, with each step as a sort of psychoanalytical process. As I worked, I came to terms with various emotions: me being a woman, a designer in the Middle Eastern region, breaking preconceived notions and showing endless possibilities.
When you work with marble, you’re in a way attacking something that’s very rigid, while at the same time showing that the material can be light, feminine and versatile in its adaptation. One important aspect is the use of colours, which best represent me but which I’ve been hesitant to use in my work. I created the watercolours on flying pieces of paper rather than a sketchbook, perhaps as a result of my shyness, thinking of the watercolours as a language rather than a sketch. Watercolours are intricate: they’re water based,and water has a mind of its own. The watercolours are both light and very present, and you can work on layers, nuances and depths.
They allowed me to convey to the design team the emotions that I wanted to translate into a 3D product. To keep in line with this lightness, I decided to work with resin, which allowed me to keep the translucence and depth present in the watercolour sketches. Research studies followed, and I really had a lot of fun looking into pigments, colours and combinations of different marbles to be able to work with contrasts. My team and I used the watercolour sketches on actual samples of marble to create the colour schemes we wanted. It’s like an automatic writing that we turned into a language between me and myself, me and my collaborators and ultimately between me and the people who came and saw the show.