From 2-9 January 2023, “Rainbows Under Their Feet” by UAE-based artist Natalya Konforti on show at TashkeelAl Fahidi
Residency enabled four new bodies of work – ‘memory vessels’ – including quilts, paintings, and photos showing geological formations, stratigraphy as timekeepers
Dubai, UAE –29 December 2022| — Tashkeel Al Fahidi’s opening show for 2023 is UAE-based artist Natalya Konforti’s immersive exhibition entitled “Rainbows Under Their Feet.,” taken from an extract from Elif Shafak’s ‘The Island of Missing Trees’ about the colors and bustling life in subterranean worlds.
Showing in House 10 of the historical district, Konforti’s exhibition runs from 2 – 9 January 2023, and features four new bodies of work created by the artist’s two-month experience within Tashkeel’s First Solo Residency initiative.
Konforti’s‘memory vessels’ include a series of quilts crafted from discarded plastic (civilisation’s most obvious remnant), juxtaposed with paintings and photographs depicting geological formations and stratigraphy as timekeepers. Each piece evokes a sense of depth, channelling empathy, questioning vantage points, flipping perceptions of durability, and begging the question: “What lies beneath the surface?”
Speaking about the concept of the resulting exhibition, Konforti says, “Behind a shell, a silence, the ground beneath our feet; any deceptively simple cover veils far more complex inner workings. Things are rarely what they seem… we live in a multifaceted world of nuance, polarity and entangled layers. Perceptions and vantage points are the product of our surroundings, charged with intangible notions of identity, lived experience and generational memory.”
As part of her Tashkeel residency, the artist developed a new work, ‘Fragmented Memories,’ resulting from weekly community stitching sessions held in the courtyard of the historic house. Konforti cites the UAE’s Hajar mountains as inspiration for her practice, which also incorporates fishing rope and small objects found on beaches in Ras Al Khaimah.
On Saturday, 7 January and Sunday, 8 January, Konforti will lead a guided tour of her new exhibition, as well as hosting a drop-in stitching workshop on each day. She will share insight into how her artistic practice explores the ways in which surroundings shapeidentities, and how society’s impact on the environment will, in turn, mark future generations.
Tashkeel’s First Solo Residency is a two-month initiative at the Al Fahidi location, leading to a public outcome for a UAE-based practitioner. Initiated in 2021, alumnae include artists Behnoosh Feiz, CharLes, and Nujoom Al Ghanem. Since Tashkeel’s opening in 2008, it has facilitated residencies for 80 artists, curators and designers from more than 30 countries.
Rainbows Under Their Feet by Natalya Konforti
Solo Exhibition of the First Solo Residency 2022
2 – 9 January 2023 —Open Daily, 10am – 5pm
Tashkeel Al Fahidi – House 10
Saturday, 7 January
Artist-Led Guided Tour, 11am
Lost & Found: Drop-in Stitching Workshop, 2 – 4pm
Sunday, 8 January
Artist-Led Guided Tour, 3pm
Lost & Found: Drop-in Stitching Workshop, 10am – 12pm
– Ends –
Note to Editors
Established in Dubai in 2008 by Lateefa bint Maktoum, Tashkeel seeks to provide a nurturing environment for the growth of contemporary art and design practice rooted in the UAE. Through multi-disciplinary studios, workspaces and galleries located in both Nad Al Sheba and Al Fahidi, it enables creative practice, experimentation and dialogue among practitioners and the wider community. Operating on an open membership model, Tashkeel’s annual programme of training, residencies, workshops, talks, exhibitions, international collaborations and publications aims to further practitioner development, public engagement, lifelong learning and the creative and cultural industries.
Tashkeel’s range of initiatives include: Tanween, which takes a selected cohort of emerging UAE-based designers through a nine-month development programme to take a product inspired by the surroundings of the UAE from concept to completion; Critical Practice, which invites visual artists to embark on a one-year development programme of studio practice, mentorship and training that culminates in a major solo presentation; MakeWorks UAE, an online platform [visit make.works] connecting creatives and fabricators to enable designers and artists accurate and efficient access to the UAE manufacturing sector; Exhibitions & Workshops to challenge artistic practice, enable capacity building and grow audience for the arts in the UAE; and the heart of Tashkeel, its Membership, a community of creatives with access to facilities and studio spaces to refine their skills, undertake collaborations and pursue professional careers.
Tashkeel is the winner of the AD Middle East Award for Outstanding Achievement 2021.
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