Join us for a gallery talk with artists from The Mashrabiya Project: Seeing Through Space, a multidisciplinary exhibition that interprets the societal and cultural concepts evoked by the mashrabiya, featuring never-before-seen commissioned works by 6 women-identifying artists from the Muslim world. Their works, exhibited in the Museum’s main gallery, will speak through the many languages of the mashrabiya, evoking the metaphors and stories found in its elemental forms. The Seeing through Space artists are: Anila Quayyum Agha, Nidaa Badwan, Susan Hefuna, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Majida Khattari, and Hoda Tawakol.
Gallery Talk Artists:
Anila Quayyum Agha (b. Lahore, Pakistan) received her BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore and an MFA from the University of North Texas. Major solo shows include the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX; Columbia Art Museum in South Carolina; Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, National Sculpture Museum in Valladolid, Spain, The Dallas Contemporary Art Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, FL. Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, North Carolina Art Museum in Raleigh, and the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. For the 2019 Venice Biennial, Agha was included in a collateral event, She Persists, with 22 contemporary feminist artists. Agha has received the Efroymson Art Fellowship, Cincinnati Art Museum’s 2017 Schiele Prize, the DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award twice (2018 & 2021) and the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors award in 2019. Agha’s 2014 ArtPrize entry, titled “Intersections,” earned the Public Vote Grand Prize and split the Juried Grand Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the recipient of numerous grants from Indiana University, like the New Frontiers Exploratory grant. For her creative research, Agha was awarded the highest research honor by Indiana University in 2016, titled Glenn W. Irwin Research Scholar Award. In 2020, Agha received an Endowed Chair position titled Morris Eminent Scholar in Art at Augusta University in Georgia, as well as the prestigious Smithsonian Fellowship in the arts for 2021, and worked with both SAAM and AAA in Washington DC in May 2022. Her work has been collected by both institutions and private collectors, nationally and internationally.
Agha works in a cross-disciplinary fashion with mixed media, creating artwork that explores global and environmental politics, cultural multiplicity, and social and gender roles in our current cultural and global scenario. As a result, her artwork is conceptually challenging, producing complicated weaves of thought, artistic action, and social experience.
Seeing through Space series talk, November, 2022: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZCKZZHCyLA&t=42s
Portrait of Anila Quayyum Agha by Badri
Nadia Kaabi-Linke was born Tunis, Tunisia, in 1978, and raised in Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. She graduated from the University of Fine Arts, Tunis, in 1999, and earned a Ph.D. at Université Paris-Sorbonne, in 2008. Growing up between Tunis, Kyiv, and Dubai, and now residing in Berlin, Kaabi-Linke has a personal history of migration across cultures and borders that has greatly influenced her work. Her works give physical presence to that which tends to remain invisible, be it people, structures, or the geopolitical forces that shape them.
Majida Khattari is a Moroccan visual artist and photographer. She first studied at the School of Fine Arts in Casablanca, before moving to Paris in 1988. Initially she studied photography, working in black and white to create portraits of her subjects veiled in muslin. This led Khattari to focus her work on the question of women’s head coverings in public schools; from there she began to work directly with the subject of clothing and the female body. Her sculptural garments, inspired by burkas, niqabs, hijabs, and safseris, address the confinement of women’s bodies in contemporary Islam; the garments are worn during performances that take on the spectacle of fashion shows. In her exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in July 2001, Khattari denounced the oppression endured by Afghan women under the Taliban regime.
Born in London and raised primarily in Paris, Hoda Tawakol is a Franco-Egyptian artist who currently lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. She graduated in 2011 from University of Fine Arts (HfbK) in Hamburg. Tawakol’s broad practice encompasses hand-dyed and sewn textile pieces, mixed media sculptures, and installations interweaving textures, grids, and lattices. Her approach to contemporary textile art is deeply rooted in the feminist movement of the 1970s that revived the medium as a critical and discursive practice embedded in the history of women’s knowledge and labor. In her work, she attempts to deconstruct symbols and archetypes that beset female agency. Her Mashrabiya series, part of a larger series titled Idolatry that disrupts the grid, is an example of this preoccupation. Through the variety and compositional complexity of her aesthetic interventions, Tawakol touches on the boundary between the extreme figuration of personal identities and their dissolution, even to the point of disintegration. In taking up such forms in her series of aquarelles, Tawakol is interested in relating formal aesthetic concerns to societal issues, especially to those of a gender-specific nature. For her participation in The Mashrabiya Project, Tawakol will continue her research of these concepts.
Seeing through Space series talk, October 13, 2022: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dh27jNDv3I&t=24s
Portrait of HodaTawakol by Helge Mundt
This event is free to the public. The Museum for Art in Wood interprets, nurtures, and champions creative engagement and expansion of art, craft, and design in wood to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of it. A suggested donation of $5 per person enables us to provide programs and exhibitions throughout the year.
Questions? Please contact Katie Sorenson, Director of Outreach and Communications, at [email protected].
The Mashrabiya Project has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Special thanks go to:
Rockler Tools for in-kind support
The exhibition program at the Museum is generously supported by members of the Cambium Giving Society of the Museum for Art in Wood, the Bresler Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, William Penn Foundation, and Windgate Foundation.
Corporate support is provided by Boomerang, Inc., and Sun-Lite Corporation.