Mix media on canvas, wood and foam
Katara Galleries, Gallery 2
Katara Cultural village
AlAji addresses the concept of “difference,” and the possibilities and challenges of being “different” in her conceptual art. In her exploration of the “self,” the “other” and the many-facets of what she perceives as “different," she draws on the triangles which have persisted in her memory and her interactions with her environment, and which are also part of the traditional designs widely used in the regional wool-crafts and textiles called sadou.
In her installations, Perceptions and Transitions, Interferences, and Change, Al-Aji manipulates several wooden triangles to visually capture the abstract notion of the “different.” Each of these triangles has a distinct pattern of white and blue, placed in different angles and parts of its surface. At times, these triangles are equilateral and of similar height and size, while at others they are different in terms of their angles, orientation and presentation in their given space. The metaphor underlying such abstract representation is three-fold: first, the repetitiveness of the triangles suggests the challenges one may face continuously in one’s everyday life; second, the variety of their sizes highlight the diverse levels of intensity of a given challenge one might face; third, the difference in their angles and positioning in space depict transitions we experience during various stages of our lives.
In Celebration of Differences, a series of six large-scale rectangular canvases, Ameera al-Aji marks her move towards experimentation with space and extensive use of white and blue. In fact, she initially painted the Celebration of Differences 1 and 2 in black and white, but recreated them using light layers of white and blue in addition to acrylic and mixed media. Such transition towards brighter canvasses and lighter shades and nuances suggests the artist’s negotiation and reconciliation reflected in her appreciation of the aesthetics and affects the white and blue may have on the viewer. The extraction of the inner abstract thoughts from a human being’s mind and their projection on massive canvases represent a dialogue between the inside and the outside, a manifestation of the possibilities of experimentation with the issue of perspective and the notion of change.