This exhibition brings together three artists; Jackie McKenna, Bassam Al-Sabah, and Atoosa Pour Hosseini in a group exhibition curated by Sarah Searson.
The creative practice of these three artists covers a wide range of artforms, such as sculpture, film and digital animation. The three artists were commissioned by The Dock for the 2020 series of commissions. Although the the artists live and work in Ireland, the scope of their individual practices is universal, with themes that affect us on a global scale. Their work will be shown across The Dock’s three galleries, and is informed by ideas around displacement, perceptions of reality, memory, nostalgia and identity.
Jackie McKenna is a community activist artist, who is based in Co. Leitrim. Jackie’s art practice is always about people and most of her work is commissioned and site-specific, which usually involves close community engagement. Her artwork for this exhibition is a redevelopment and a deepening of the work she exhibited in the Leitrim Sculpture Centre in 2018, where she created a large-scale sculptural artwork, a film installation and facilitated a series of workshops about Fasayil, a Palestinian village in Jericho on the West Bank, where she spent time with a Bedouin community in 2017. During this stay, she witnessed the erasure of this community, to the point where their way of life will soon be completely erased. The exhibition was about marking this erosion of place, culture, identity, memory and the people themselves. It also acknowledged the impact of forced migration, particularly on the lives of women.
“The Flower People” is the title of Atoosa Pour Hosseini’s new body of work. The name comes from the Neanderthals’ symbolic use of flowers to mourn the death of one of their own. This project was conceived during the challenging time of 2020 when re-discovering private spaces, personal rituals and connecting with nature as a source of energy became priorities. Her approach for reflecting on and responding to these circumstances are lyrical and quite literal in its treatment of time passing timelessly. The Flower People includes a new super 8mm film, photographs, polaroid, and a publication about Pour Hosseini’s practice in the past few years, which will be launched in the Dublin Art Book Fair 2021 at TBG+S in November. The project was kindly supported by the Arts Council Of Ireland “Project Award 2021″.
Bassam Al-Sabah, lives and works in Belfast, and his creative practice has a wide range, crossing the mediums of digital animation, painting, sculpture and textiles to convey intricate visions of war, resistance and perseverance. Themes such as displacement, nostalgia and personal mythology are explored through reference to Japanese anime cartoons, which were dubbed into Arabic and broadcast throughout the Middle East from the 1980s to the present day. Many of these TV programmes feature imagery of revolution, war and exile, acquiring for Bassam’s artistic practice – a heightened political meaning. Successive generations of children from Arab cultures have grown up with these televised anime and Bassam’s work deals with a feeling for this collective nostalgia and the amalgamation of narratives in which fact and fiction, historical trauma and queer possibility, intersect.