Aliya Al-adwani
Instagram: @aliyaaladwani

Artist Statement

Often through a play between legibility and illegibility, through what can be seen or recognized and what can’t, my work lives in the spaces in-between; between borders, between languages, between cultures. I am interested in what gets lost in translation. In the movement from one thing to another, and in the coexistence of multiples.

Referencing traditions of material culture as a stand-in for a larger social culture, I work through a process of hybridisation between conflicting parts to develop a structure for a formal system that fluctuates. Whether it be the patterns found in traditional textiles, an alphabetic system, or the structures of space itself, I use this methodology to disrupt the order and clarity of these systems and create flexible ones. Ones that are complicated and often indeterminate. Ones that  leave space for questioning. Ones with multiple parts and layers that fluctuate in relation to each other, across time and space.

Drawn on the back side of a rubbing, pastel marks form the patterns of a Sadu rug. However, the traditional pictographic symbols of the fabric of my childhood are embedded with the fabric I see now. “Low culture”. Graffiti. Latrinalia. Words and phrases from a bathroom wall that break up that geometric symmetry to form a hybrid material culture. 

Across from the drawing hangs the textile work. Another patchwork of hybrid pictographs, woven on both sides of the loom. The same words in English on one side, and their phonetic translations in Arabic on the other. Interwoven. The threads of both are seen from each side, but in their multiplicity, the meaning of their words can no longer be deciphered.

Artist Bio

Aliya Al-Adwani is an interdisciplinary artist and designer, working across a range of mediums such as drawing, textiles, and installation. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute and is currently completing her MFA at Parsons School of Design.