Home Arts “Iraq is a culture of clay – my choice to work with ceramics is linked to this lineage”

“Iraq is a culture of clay – my choice to work with ceramics is linked to this lineage”

by godlove4241
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Ten artists from across the Gulf have been nominated for the second Richard Mille Art Prize. The complete list is available here.

The artists’ works are exhibited at Louvre Abu Dhabi until March 19 and the winner will be announced on March 20.

The work of Rand Abdul Jabbar Earthly wonders, celestial beings is a collection of 100 handmade clay objects that echo the forms of ancient Mesopotamia. Some imitate an object in its entirety, while others show a small detail of a relief or a piece of sculpture. “Much of my work is about historical narratives and memory – the tangible remnants of history and the more ephemeral remnants.”

One of the objects is based on the image of an ancient pin, but when his father saw it, he remembered the traditional swamp boats of southern Iraq from his childhood, which have swooping prows like the Venice gondolas. “I love that a form that starts out as a pin can turn into a boat and then become a sculpture, and there are these formal references and repetitions that are very recognizable.”

A close up of Rand Abdul Jabbar Earthly wonders, celestial beings (2019-ongoing) at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Photo: Augustine Paredes – Seeing things. Courtesy of Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi. Artwork © the artist

Abdul Jabbar studied architecture at Columbia University in New York and worked for Zaha Hadid as a student. “One of his main ideas is fluidity across scale. So whether you’re designing a shoe, a piece of furniture, or a city master plan, there’s this idea of ​​a language that transcends scale. For me, it is very natural to mix architecture, design and arts in my practice.

After college, she became interested in furniture design, which turned into an artistic practice when she began to take an interest in her personal and family history. Abdul Jabbar was born in Baghdad in 1990 but moved to Abu Dhabi when he was five years old. The project presented at the Louvre Abu Dhabi began after his first trip to Iraq since childhood. Visiting Babylon and other ancient sites deepened his interest in archeology and sparked an affinity with clay as a material.

“Iraq is a clay culture, we have very little stone,” she says. “Many of our relics and vestiges are made of clay and the choice to work with ceramics is also materially linked to this lineage. He tries to engage with this idea of ​​embodied knowing: the same way people shaped clay thousands of years ago, you repeat gestures, repeat shapes. »

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