Emirati artist uses furniture to create photographs of intrigue and romance

Emirati designer and visual artist presents Hymns to a Sleeper, a photography series which depicts ordinary everyday household items and furniture in extraordinary settings.

From chairs to carpets, to found objects and even a parrot, Bin Dhaher uses the simplicity of every day domestic life and envelopes it in an enigma of intrigue and romance.

Hymns to a Sleeper is part of the the artist’s continuing exploration of photography principles set within a world of surreal and constructed landscapes.

“There’s a need to construct images out of the pieces of information we receive from our daily encounters. Whether they are lessons, readings, dreams, conversations, moments, people, objects or memories,” said Bin Dhaher.

“I, therefore, chose to reconstruct and document objects, subjects or moments while making sense of how meaning is created in an image. The photograph, as a medium, lends itself to this idea as a means of immortalising things that have passed or are yet to become frail,” she added.

The exhibition is the first of Tashkeel’s Critical Practice Programme which started in 2014, allowing artists to work with a mentor whose area of research ties with that of the artist.

Bin Dhaher worked with performance artist and lecturer Andrew Starner for the past 12 months to develop the project.

“The series includes pink pastel backdrops, cotton candy patterned textiles, and visions of deserted but not depleted interior spaces,” said Starner.

“Here, domestic objects are isolated but not alone. The spatial vastness in the photographs allow each object to stand out on their own.”

Tying in with the work of her mentor, Bin Dhaher’s latest exhibition intends to answer the question: ‘can there be a performance without a live body?’


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