Rashmi Lalla Essaydi

Lalla Essaydi’s (b. 1956, Marrakesh, Morocco) art champions women. Central to the artist’s vision is a unique synthesis of personal and historical catalysts. As a Muslim woman who grew up in Morocco, raised her family in Saudi Arabia, and relocated to France and finally the United States, the artist has profound firsthand perspectives into cross-cultural identity politics. Essaydi also weaves together a rich roster of culturally embedded materials and practices—including the odalisque form, Arabic calligraphy, henna, textiles, and bullets—to illuminate the narratives that have been associated with Muslim women throughout time and across cultures. By placing Orientalist fantasies of Arab women and Western stereotypes in dialogue with lived realities, Essaydi presents identity as the culmination of these legacies, yet something that also expands beyond culture, iconography, and stereotypes.

The performative act of inscribing women’s bodies and spaces with calligraphy is a vital part of Essaydi’s approach, emphasizing the ongoing, active, and collaborative process of becoming and creating. Since her first major series Converging Territories (2002-4), Essaydi has used henna to envelope the women in her photographs in Arabic calligraphy, a skill she could not learn in school due to her gender. Henna is a form of decoration that marks some of the happiest and most significant moments of a Muslim woman’s life, and Essaydi elevates this tradition—conventionally regarded as a “woman’s craft”—into a radical act of visual and linguistic artistry. The stream-of-consciousness, poetic script includes biographical details relating to the artist’s and models’ experiences as women. Essaydi’s series Les Femmes du Maroc (2005-7) continued to engage with these approaches while expanding to also question the historical representation of Arab women in the Western art canon, referencing the Orientalist imagery of 19th century artists such as Ingres, Delacroix, and Gérôme. Her reinterpretation is a strong statement of the power of artistic representation to influence identity. In her Harem series (2009), set in a lavish yet isolating harem in Morocco, Essaydi addresses the complex social and physical confines of Muslim womanhood. Her most recent series Bullets (2009-14) introduces a new material for the artist—silver and gold bullet casings—which she has woven together to create glittering gowns of armor.

Essaydi’s work deliberately incorporates and invites perspectives from many angles. “In my art,” Essaydi explains, “I wish to present myself through multiple lenses—as artist, as Moroccan, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite the viewer to resist stereotypes.”

Essaydi spent her most foundational years living in traditional Muslim society in Morocco and Saudi Arabia. She attended École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris before earning her BFA from Tufts University and MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, both in Boston. Her work has been exhibited around the world, including at the San Diego Museum of Art, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Bahrain National Museum; and Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial, United Arab Emirates. Essaydi’s work is represented in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; and the Louvre Museum, Paris, amongst many others. The most recent text of her work, Lalla Essaydi: Crossing Boundaries, Bridging Cultures, was published in 2015 by ACR Edition, in addition to a selection from her series Les Femmes du Maroc published by powerHouse Books in 2009. The artist currently lives in Boston and Marrakesh.

View the artist's CV

Presentation on theme: "Women in Art and Design PARALLEL SESSION III. Session II Women in Art, Architecture and Design Chair: Dr. Samia A. Razzak Engineer Artist & Academic draws."— Presentation transcript:

1 Women in Art and Design PARALLEL SESSION III

2 Session II Women in Art, Architecture and Design Chair: Dr. Samia A. Razzak Engineer Artist & Academic draws with colors and words Holds an Advanced Teaching Diploma – Teacher Training College – Bahrain, advanced Diploma in Education, Bristol University, UK, Masters in Art Education – Bristol University – UK, PHD in Art Education and Fine Arts – The Pennsylvania State University _USA Assistant Professor at University of Bahrain in Arts, Director of Bahrain Center of Fine Arts and Heritage at University of Bahrain. A member in Bahrain Art Society, A member in Bahrain Writers Society, A member in Bahrain Writers Circle, A member in the INSEA. 2

3 Ms. Emilie Burnham Dar Al Hekma “Using Cultural Values to Enrich (Design) Learning Outcome” Born in the Midwest of the USA, Graphic Designer, Artist and Design Educator Emilie Burnham moved across the country to pursue an MFA in Visual Communication from California Institute of the Arts. She started her design career in the music industry in Los Angeles as an Art Director at notable labels like Motown, Sony, and MCA Records. Emilie later continued her journey North to Seattle, Washington where she drank too much coffee and freelanced as an illustrator, ultimately teaching at Cornish College of the Arts for 6 years. Having reached the edge of the United States, Emilie’s natural sense of adventure led her to Doha, Qatar where she taught as Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Education City. This introduction to the Middle East created a curiosity for cultures different than her own and resulted in her teaching Design in other countries such as Milan, Italy and Jeddah, KSA where she currently teaches in the Visual Communication department at Dar Al Hekma University. From the Mid West to the Middle East Emilie uses the influences from her nomadic explorations to teach, create, and share ideas. 3

4 Dr. Janon A.W. Kadhim, Ms. Sara Ahmed, Ms. Amna Hassan RUW “The Role of Bahraini Women in Art and Design in the Kingdom of Bahrain” Dr. Janon A.W. Kadhim is the Dean of the College of Art and Design at the Royal University for Women. She is an Associate Professor of Architecture and an Associate AIA member. She holds a BSc in Architectural Engineering, a MSc in Architectural Conservation and Preservation, and a PhD in Architectural History. She has a long teaching and practical career in Architecture, Interior Design, Art and Architectural History, and Conservation at universities around the world including Baghdad, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, USA, and Oman. She is an architectural historian and a heritage expert who is proud to have contributed to many outstanding conservation projects in the Middle East. She is very passionate about issues related to heritage and culture and her scholarly interests are particularly oriented towards the influence of cultural interaction and its impact on Architecture and Design, in addition to research in conservation and preservation of architectural heritage, and her passion for developing programs and curriculums. 4

5 Dr. Rashmi Jalota, RUW “Inspirational Women Painters of Modern India” Dr Rashmi Jalota recently joined as Assistant Professor in College of Art & Design. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Government College of Art, Chandigarh (India) followed by a Master's Degree in History of Art and a Ph.D. in History of Art from the prestigious Panjab University, Chandigarh (India). Her doctoral thesis was on "Religious and mythopoetic content in Modern Indian Painting (Circa 1875-2000)". With over 5 years’ experience in the field of teaching, her main areas of interest is Art History and its evolution globally. She is well versed with various styles & mediums used by artists across eras. A keen academician, she has also published papers in several journals. She believes in experiential learning & tries to facilitate learning through active interactions & studio based practical's. As freelance painter, she has been participated in many group shows as well as displayed her works in several solo shows. She loves to paint nature and her preferred mediums are acrylic and water colors. 5

6 Session III Women and Visual Communication issues Chair: Ms. Bayan AlBarak Kanoo Ms. Bayan AlBarak Kanoo is the founder and director of Al Riwaq Art Space in Bahrain. A collector and supporter of Art from the Middle East and Persia, Bayan is committed to the preserving and celebrating the aesthetic heritage of the Arab world. Since its founding in 1998, its vision has been to promote creativity and art value, where Al Riwaq Art Space was the first gallery in Bahrain to create a dedicated Public Art programme, making art available in the open, for all levels of society. Bayan is a graduate of Baghdad University and the University of Bahrain, where she resides. She is committed the social and cultural development of the Kingdom, working in mindful collaboration with institutions locally and globally towards this goal. 6

7 Ms. Sylvia Shapiro Dar Al Hekma “Visually Speaking: The Emerging Voice of Saudi Arabian Women” Sylvia Shapiro is an Assistant Professor teaching illustration and poster design courses at Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She holds a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, an MA from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, and an MFA in Illustration from The University of Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut. She has illustrated children’s books for McMillan Publishing, Andrews and McMeel, and Tenspeed Press, and designed toys for Mattel, Hasbro, Fisher-Price, Tyco, Universal Product Innovations, and the Walt Disney Company. Shapiro enjoys plain air watercolour painting in Italy and near her home in Ojai, California. 7

8 Ms. Hind Talal Dar Al Hekma “ Mixing Theory with Practice: Real-World Opportunities for Female Visual Communication Students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia” Lecturer, Hekma School of Design and Architecture, Department of Visual Communication, Dar Al Hekma University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Graphic Designer and Lecturer in the Visual Communication Department in Dar Al Hekma University. Graduated from Dar Al Hekma College in 2008 and received her Masters in Fine Arts from University of Leeds, UK. in 2010. Her research interests include social issues, Arabic typography, and branding. Participated in several local and international exhibitions. 8

9 Ms. Colleen Comerford (Ellis) Dar Al Hekma “The Benefits and Challenges of including Experiential Learning for Female Visual Design Communication Students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia” 9

10 Session IV Women in Fabric and Apparel Design Chair: Ms. Sarah Suri Holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. In addition she is a Graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY, and has completed Associate Program courses in Fashion Merchandising Management Specializes in Fashion Illustration and Training, Shoe and Accessory Design, Computer Knitting & Textiles, Fabric Dyeing and Painting, CAD Design, and others. She has worked as a Lecturer, at Dar Al Hekma University, Jeddah, KSA. In addition she worked as a Design Consultant, Womenswear Designer at Sears Holding Corporation, New York, NY ; a Men’s and Ladies Merchandise and Design Manager, B.U.M Equipment Brand, Wal-Mart Canada, Toronto, Product Developing Manager – Sierra Designs, Black Water Designs Ltd., Toronto, and on Freelance projects for several clients in New York, such as: J.Crew Inc., Old Navy / Gap Inc., Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Chaps Ralph Lauren, Limited, Inc., Happy Kids, Inc., Structure Ltd., Express, Ralph Lauren, Kmart, Sears, Inc. 10

11 Ms. Barbara J. Anello-Adnani Dar Al Hekma “Handwoven: the ancient art of weaving and contemporary women weavers in Morocco’s Middle Atlas” 11

12 Ms. Monisha Kumar, Dr. Amita Walia, Dar Al Hekma “Reciprocal Influence Of Persian And Indian Women Costumes” Monisha Kumar holds a masters degree in Textiles & Clothing from Delhi University. She is currently working with Dar Al Hekma University, Jeddah, KSA as an Assistant Professor in Fashion Design Department and also pursuing her PhD from Pacific University, Udaipur, India. She has more than 14 yrs of experience in academics. She has also worked as a technical writer and as a consultant with IGNOU, New Delhi. Her main areas of interest are textile design, traditional crafts and costumes. She is a member in Higher Education Academy. 12

13 Dr. Shweta Kinra Kalra, Dr. Nessreen Elmelegy RUW “The Traditions Of Wearing Jalabiya- Women Wear In Kingdom Of Bahrain And Its Contemporization” 13

14 Thank you for your participation See you again soon 14

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