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Talaliya by Sawsan Al Bahar at Firetti Contemporary Gallery

Firetti Contemporary is pleased to present the exhibition titled Talaliya by Sawsan Al Bahar, a Syrian artist and researcher. It will remain open until the 25th of November, 2022. At the exhibition, a series of artworks, drawings and an installation which tackle themes of immigration, is on display.

Al Waqfa Al Talaliya is an ancient Arabic poetic practice: poets, standing on the ruins of past homes of loved ones long gone, describe the home and then its traces and leftovers. Inspired by it, Al Bahar stands at her own ruins metaphorically and looks at remnants left over by her family: words, memories and evocations. Through her art pieces, Al Bahar reflects on the generational departures in her family’s history and reconstructs lives through memories of objects and places.

Sawsan Al Bahar’s installation Leaving is Home (2022). Photo: Firetti Contemporary gallery

The installation Leaving is Home is made up of 90 pieces of 3D-printed sheets hanging in mid-air. The words on each sheet are taken from Al Bahar”s grandfather’s memoir — from its unfinished chapter, to be precise. In it, her grandfather recalls a youth spent in Jaffa, Palestine. The same chapter then tells about his departure from Jaffa for Damascus in 1947 with his mother and six sisters.

“This chapter is […] about that […] very strong juxtaposition of happy memories at home and then suddenly finding yourself somewhere without money, without support and trying to recreate everything,” Al Bahar says.

The Talaliya exhibition creates a metaphorical space where the artist commemorates loss she inherited; it is an inter-generational conversation of recorded and shared personal stories of place, time and home.

Sawsan Al Bahar, In the Forest of Estrangement, 2017. Graphite on paper on panel, 188 cm x 140 cm (framed with glass)

Sawsan Al Bahar is an artist, architect and researcher based in Dubai. She was born in Damascus and raised in the UAE; now she resides in Dubai. Her art practice includes drawing, printmaking and installations; the themes Sawsan is drawn to are time, politics, and history within the Middle East.

The artist’s works have been featured in many national exhibitions and galleries such as Sikka Art Fair 2015, Made in Tashkeel 2015, and Abu Dhabi Music and Art Festival 2015.

To learn more, please visit the official web page of the exhibition.

You may also be interested in visiting Stéphanie Saadé’s exhibition Where Eyes Rest and the exhibition When The Ground Was by Sarah Almehairi.

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