The Thread That Binds Us

The Thread That Binds Us , a solo exhibition by Rawan Abbas.

This exhibition explores the complex relationships that exist between cultural influences, personal histories, and our changing relationship with our bodies. The journey starts with early recollections of dolls and a lasting bond with a stuffed animal that serves as a silent record of life’s transitions, personal development and the complicated relationship we have with our identities.

“You shouldn’t cut your hair now, wait for the full moon! And don’t cut it short like last time, just a trim! Did you remember to bury it or did you throw it away like you usually do?… Well, you can keep it, but don’t use it in any of your works. It’s creepy! And someone might steal some of it…We don’t want any trouble”

The exhibition addresses the artist’s lifelong engagement with the act of cutting hair, challenging societal expectations and questioning the ownership and autonomy of one’s body. The artist also reflects on the rituals associated with hair, from collecting and discarding to the cultural beliefs surrounding its magical properties. Hair becomes a tangible link between the artist’s past and present, a material that encapsulates the essence of identity and change.

“The first thing that touches our infant body after we’re born is the senseless synthetic glove of the doctor…After we’re cleaned of the blood and grime of the ordeal of coming into this world alive and screaming is soft fabric. Then we’re touched by our mothers. “

The tactile familiarity of our bodies and the fabrics they are clothed in, is reflected in the artworks’ exploration of textiles. Through utilizing materials that were originally meant for clothing and accessories, the artist encourages viewers to interact with the commonplace aspect of textiles. The choice of fabrics, like the touch of skin, carries the weight of shared experiences, crease lines, and wrinkles, becoming a medium for interaction and bonding.

The artist’s personal experiences and cultural background infuse the exhibition with a distinct narrative. The dialogue around modesty, body image, and the expectations placed on women weaves through the fabric of the artworks, creates a harmonious reflection and invites analytical perceptions.
“The Thread That Binds Us” invites the audience to reimagine parts of the body as devoid of imposed constructs, to reflect on their own connections with the past, present, and the ever-evolving threads that weave the fabric of our shared humanity, while opening a discussion about the complex nature of our bodies and the connections that unite us all.

Artist Talk &Tour

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