An artwork by Jordanian design duo Naqsh Collective has been shortlisted for the fifth edition of the Jameel Prize, supported by Art Jameel.
‘The Shawl’, designed by sisters Nisreen and Nermeen Abudail, reflects a ‘testimonial of stories’ inherited from the duo’s ancestors of their Palestinian heritage. It recreates traditional hand-crafted embroidery, reinterpreting its shapes and compositions in robust materials.
Presented as a mural of engraved walnut wood with brass detailing, the carvings appear ‘stitched’ onto the piece as it would appear on traditional Palestinian embroidery.
While keeping with the spirit of their heritage, the sisters designed the piece to transcend standard motifs into modern compositions., where every group of ‘stitches’ are referred to as a ‘unit’.
The use of non-customary materials in ‘The Shawl’ and other pieces in the duo’s collection transitions the pieces from a traditional art form into a contemporary body of work.
“I always dreamed of showcasing our Palestinian culture through modern, minimal art,” said Nisreen Abudail, architect, and co-founder of Naqsh Collective. “Through embroidery and mixing solid media to draw stories, ‘The Shawl’ reminds us of how beautiful this art is.”
“It was an enjoyable challenge finding and recreating this graphical treasure. It appeared to be like a duty to bring back the delights of our culture and mold them in a modern context. We aim to showcase it to the world” added Nermeen Abudail, designer and co-founder at Naqsh Collective.
The winner of the Jameel Prize 5 will be announced on 27 June 2018 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and will later embark on an international tour.
Shortlisted works will be exhibited at the museum from 28 June until 25 November 2018.
Last year, Naqsh Collective launched an exhibition in Amman entitled, ‘The Thirst for Solidarity’, rooted in the cultural heritage of Palestine.
The Jameel Prize, which was launched in 2009, was conceived after the renovation of the V&A’s Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art and is supported by Art Jameel.
The organisation has also announced plans for an arts centre in Dubai, designed by Serie Architects, set to open in the winter of 2018.