Birthmark Theory – Prints by Arwa Abouon

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Birthmark Theory – prints by Arwa Abouon

Exhibition runs from 20th October – 14th November 2015

Admission free

londonprintstudio is delighted to present the work of Libyan / Canadian artist Arwa Abouon. Subtle and approachable, using historical traditions and idioms of her religious background to produce playful and questionable imagery, Birthmark Theory is Arwa Abouon’s first solo UK show. A narrative on identity, duality and spirituality is always present in her work, as are her family members. In return, the work challenges the observer’s pre-set conceptions of the taboos surrounding her identity as a woman and a Muslim. Presenting her work as diptychs, the images read together as one, a metaphor of being between two cultures and finding a balance where duality becomes a blessing, instead of a curse.

Curated by Najlaa Elageli, Noon Arts

In partnership with londonprintstudio

This exhibition is part of the Kensington and Chelsea Nour Festival of contemporary Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture.

About the Artist

Libyan / Canadian artist Arwa Abouon was born in Tripoli and emigrated with her family at the age of one. She studied art and photography at the Concordia University in Montréal. Arwa Abouon is represented by The Third Line, Dubai.

Exhibition programme:-

Launch party 22nd October 6.30 – 8.30 pm

‘Forgotten Chatter’ 29th October, 6.30 – 8.00pm. Talk by Najlaa Elageli, Curator and Director of Noon Arts; specialist and consultant in the art of Libyan women.

Artist’s Statement

‘My work results from dynamic interactions between personal reflections on human nature, to meet and see the world as it is, and the multiple perspectives of my own gaze. My works are usually photographic, but sometimes integrate video, design or additional installations.

The themes addressed in my works stem directly from my life experience as a female artist living and working between cultures, and yet the aim is to show how a single person’s ‘double vision’ can produce images that possess much wider social effects by collapsing racial, cultural and religious borders. In other words, the images, which are seemingly autobiographical in nature, move beyond mere autobiography.

I am also investigating mechanisms at play when learning and acquiring knowledge, and the different shapes that this knowledge takes on as it is transferred from one generation to another. Balancing playful humour, re-appropriation and respectful homage;  I always ask questions through images. The Islamic counterpart to these questions and cultural distinctions often make for interesting results as it leads to more discussions/contemplation about identity through faith.

My ultimate aim is to sculpt a finer appreciation of the Islamic culture by shifting the focus from political issues to a poetic celebration of the faith’s foundations. I hope my work is always visually intricate in the subtleties within its voice.’


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