WATCH BEFORE YOU FALL
Watch Before You Fall is a statement directed at women as they enter the public sphere in Saudi Arabia today. These words carry a prediction that anticipates an act before it happens; a prophesy based on the inference of having no control over the fate of our next step — where I am asked to “watch” as I fall.
In this collection of artworks I examine the imagery and titles used on the covers of books written by men for women, books that claim to help guide women as they exit their private spaces and enter a public that, according to the authors, belongs to men. On these book covers women are often portrayed as translucent mute silhouettes, and men represented as predator animals. The images are cloaked with fabric in the form of curtains eternally floating in the breeze, dense wood Mashrabiyas or a single flower standing delicately poised, waiting to wither away.
These books are slowly disappearing from shops and bookstands across the country. New laws in Saudi Arabia have banned rhetoric against women in an attempt to create a safer space for both genders to engage. Today women are entering the public with enthusiasm and courage. Have we reconciled our past? Are we allowed to forget?
In Watch Before You Fall I investigate the symbols on the covers of these books and their relationship to fear and control: their fragility and their power. By weaving, sewing, and stuffing, I created a series of soft sculptures and fabric totems that constantly need to be moved and adjusted; destroyed and reconstructed. They are delicate and susceptible to collapse at any moment, but their resilience is in their softness and agility. These structures are punctuated with delicate porcelain paper and the archeologically ephemeral desert rose. All of their surfaces are embedded with statements and images that address histories that have been fragmented. Yet in their reconstruction I attempt to create a new narrative that reconciles what is, what has been, what can be, and will be. Only then, will I embrace the fall.
Produced in 2019 - Medium: Natural Silk Fabric, Natural Linen, Ink, Acrylic, Linen Canvas, Hemp Rope, Porcelain and metal coated desert rose.