In a nod to the world’s hottest storytelling platform – Pecha Kucha or “show and tell” – Selections has asked a number of artists and designers to talk about a specific project through imagery and an economy of words. The result is a simple yet engaging and visually captivating tale that sheds light upon the work whilst providing insights into the life and personal thoughts of each featured artist and designer. Passion and knowledge all wrapped into one.
I’m a Jordanian-British artist and designer based in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. My work traverses analogue and digital, exploring ideas within both traditional and contemporary craftsmanship to create works of extreme intricacy. I’ve lived my entire life in the Middle East, and my work reflects my layered and complex multicultural experience as well as the geometry and symbolism inherent with the region. Much of my current work is created using custom developed software and laser machines resulting in highly detailed laser cut works on layered paper and other materials. I studied at Leeds College of Art and Design in the United Kingdom, graduating in 2002. Over the last few years, my work has been exhibited with Jonathan LeVine Projects, at Art Basel Miami, the LA Art Show, Parlor Gallery and with the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival in late 2018. I’m the recipient of the Van Cleef & Arpels Emergent Designer Award for 2019.
My interest lies in human and machine collaboration in a traverse of analogue and digital to create work with highly detailed machined precision, but which remains distinctly human in origin. The pieces proposed for this submission play between contrasting yet complementary, distinct but related concepts, both in the design and feel of the final form. I wanted to explore the notion of a traditional vessel (typically intended to be utilitarian and simple)and augment and contrast that by introducing abstract structural modifications, complexity and detail achievable through algorithms and computational geometry. I also sought to push the boundaries of possibilities in terms of medium and chose to experiment in paper with its beautiful, tactile, delicate qualities.
“MY INTEREST LIES IN HUMAN
AND MACHINE COLLABORATION
IN A TRAVERSE OF ANALOGUE
AND DIGITAL TO CREATE WORK
WITH HIGHLY DETAILED
MACHINED PRECISION, BUT
WHICH REMAINS DISTINCTLY
HUMAN IN ORIGIN”
The build process revolves around both a sequential back-and-forth and an interactive collaboration between human and machines. Individual elements first are hand-drawn then refined using digital design tools. They are then arranged in an interactive parametric design phase where various curves and values are tuned through visual feedback to obtain the final shape. Computers and a laser cutter compute the shape and physically cut the many hundreds of parts. The assembly of each vessel is done entirely by hand using glue, pins and a scalpel.
The final pieces display this idea of contrasts and collaboration. Organic hand-drawn elements, arranged in a rigid structured pattern around a form developed using algorithmic calculations, yet built by hand, produce a whole that is highly complex, detailed, precise – but organic and imperfect at the same time. It is the flaws that come with the human hand, which produce the beautiful
“IT IS THE FLAWS
THAT COME WITH
THE HUMAN HAND,
All images are courtesy of the artist.
A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, SHOW & TELL #51 PAGES 78-81.