- Speaking of innovative forms, shapes and styles, in what ways do you find the shift in visual language from an image-based one helping your practice? I know you mentioned that you were thinking about your audience and how you felt an image-based language could isolate a viewer because of their lack of familiarity with the place itself. Usually I’d think it's the opposite.
Sabiha - That's an interesting point, and I can understand why it might seem counterintuitive. However, for me, the shift away from an image-based visual language has actually been quite liberating.
When I first started working as a textile artist, I was primarily interested in capturing the details of disappearing Islamic architectural structures through my weaving. However, I began to realise that this approach was limiting in terms of the emotional impact of my work. By focusing solely on the physical structures, I was neglecting the emotional and psychological experiences that these places evoke in me and in others.
This led me to experiment with a more abstract visual language that allowed me to explore the emotional resonance of place and memory more deeply. By weaving together the warp and weft of my materials in intricate and complex patterns, I am able to create textiles that convey a sense of depth and complexity that goes beyond the surface-level details of a particular place.
In terms of my audience, I felt that an image-based language could be isolating because it relies heavily on the viewer's familiarity with the specific place being depicted. If someone is not familiar with the architecture or cultural references in the image, they may feel excluded or disconnected from the work. By contrast, an abstract visual language allows for a more universal emotional connection between the artwork and the viewer. Even if someone has never been to the specific place that inspired my work, they can still connect with the emotions and feelings that it evokes.
Overall, the shift in my visual language has allowed me to delve deeper into the emotional and psychological aspects of memory and place, while also making my work more accessible to a wider audience.