This piece of work is an extension of the Embroidered Thoughts. It is a playful take on the conversations around me. Instead of the usual back stitch which is rather quick, this is done in ralli, a traditional patchwork technique that I incorporate into my contemporary practice.
Ralli on calico
A major challenge with these embroidered pieces was figuring out how and where they exist, where are they situated? Previously, this routine of noting down/embroidering thoughts and overheard conversations has existed on various surfaces, objects etc that I collected in public/shared spaces questioning notions of public/private. However Covid had an impact on that and how this practice contextualized.
For me, the question of how and where these embroidered pieces exist still remains, although the idea of public/private has become rather conflicted. These conversations were overheard on the phone, from other family members or even picked from WhatsApp that were then brought to my bedroom, which is also my work space.
This ongoing embroidery project is an amalgamation of my internal monologue and overheard conversations that linger even after the moment has passed. These ordinary, out of context statements are almost like a journal; a source of inspiration for myself and means to connect the past to the present. Moreover, it is an insight into myself as a third person, alongside the everyday situations of the people we share spaces with.
Embroidery With Mama 10
Duration: 6m 48s
Embroidery With Mama 9
Duration: 6m 53s
Embroidery With Mama 8
Duration: 11m 52s
Embroidery With Mama 7
Duration: 11m 56s
Embroidery With Mama 6
Duration: 11m 52s
Embroidery With Mama 5
Duration: 11m 23s
Embroidery With Mama 4
Duration: 11m 53s
Embroidery With Mama 3
Duration: 11m 57s
Embroidery With Mama 2
Duration: 11m 55s
Embroidery with Mama 1
Duration: 11m 53 s
Embroidery With Mama - Excerpts
Duration: 1m 41s
This ongoing project is a series of videos where my mum and I have been embroidering together. Personally, these unedited videos function as research into the craft and work itself. They have previously been used in various performative ways for example in the background of a conversation and during an online critique without any speech. Alongside exploring ideas of intimacy, belonging, language and identity, this project is a means of re-learning embroidery in its traditional sense, like the way it has been done over generations.
Embroidery With Mama
Known / Unknown
Watercolor, pen and gold leaf on card
Series of 28
This series of work explores elements of language, spirituality and traditional Islamic art through alphabets that overlap in Urdu and Arabic.
Urdu, I speak, write and understand. Arabic, language of the Quran, I was taught to read at a young age, but never speak or understand. The Urdu script is an abjad script derived from the modern Persian script, which itself is a derivative of the Arabic script.
The familiarity/foreignness not only resonates with displacement, a key theme in my practice, but also allows me to see both languages as mere lines and shapes - as visuals.
Known / Unknown
Duration: 1m 41s
Duration: 2m 19s
Duration: 2m 57s
My mother has been an essential part of the time I spent in Islamabad. Whether it was assisting with wedding related decisions or taking time out to embroider with me on camera.
When the book was ready, I felt it was necessary that I share it with her, therefore, I arranged a Zoom call. The link above is an excerpt to a longer conversation, where I feel both of us are an audience for the book, but also intuitive performers for the video call.
Duration: 4m 01s
Embroidering on boarding passes has been an ongoing project, for about 3 years now. The following images were posted on my Instagram in September after traveling to Oxford. Ironically, 8 months later, Instagram is my only access to this piece of work as I haven't been able to travel back to Oxford.
Duration: 1m 38s
The past year has been a challenge for all of us. For most of us, our lives have changed dramatically; I am so Lost is an exploration into the changes in my own life, the constant feeling of displacement, loss and moving in and out of homes.
Through a series of works, I am so Lost seeks to connect the dots of my experiences across Oxford, Islamabad and Dubai including tiny photo-books and memoirs.
I Am So Lost
Abeer Loan is a visual artist, (b.1997) in Islamabad, Pakistan. Having spent her formative years in Bahrain, she completed her BFA in Visual arts in Pakistan and was an MFA student at Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. She works in a variety of mediums like installation, painting, embroidery and often incorporates found objects from every day life along with new media in her work. Loan's practice derives from her keen observation and critique of the culture/environment around her. Though at first her work seems concerned with the banality of everyday life, it slowly unfolds itself to be a comment on larger issues in public and private spheres; what seems random and chaotic is the result of an exhaustive research and archiving through collection.