New exhibition Domestic Affairs, currently on display at Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde, in Al Quoz, is a tribute to everyday life. But that doesn’t mean it’s all about domestic chores – the gallery hasn’t been filled with paintings of people doing the washing up or ironing.
It’s a group exhibition by five artists – Emirati Khalid Al Banna, Pakistani Aisha Khalid, and Nargess Hashemi, Zahra Imani and Sara Rahmanian, from Iran.
The works on display all tell stories of daily life and personal memories, and many have been either influenced by or created using various textiles. The centrepiece of the exhibition, which your eyes are drawn to as soon as you walk into the room, is Aisha Khalid’s Comforter, while other works look like colourful, glittery patchwork quilts.
Here, we guide you through four works from four of the artists on display…
The works of Zahra Imani tower above everything else in the gallery – some of her patchwork pieces are several metres tall. Made from a wide variety of cloths and textiles, they show everyday scenes and traditional customs from Iran, and feature dancers, musicians, and more.
Comforter, by Aisha Khalid, looks a little like a flying carpet. And no, it hasn’t fallen off the wall. It’s meant to be there, hovering eight inches above the floor. The brightly coloured quilt was stitched together by hand, and was inspired by traditional quilts from the artist’s home country of Pakistan.
Khalid Al Banna
Emirati artist Khalid Al Banna created this piece, Wedding 02, using swathes of fabric he bought in markets in Deira and Sharjah. He uses them with beads and glitter to highlight the pieces of local culture that he says are dying out.
The Dream of Flight, by Iranian artist Nargess Hashemi, is one of the few works featured that isn’t made up of fabric – this was created with pen and tracing paper. This – and her other drawings on display – come from a series showing her family going about their daily lives at home in Tehran.