Hanaa Malallah responds to the DOLPH brief by expanding on her own experience of conflict and re-settlement. Displaced by the Iraq war and now living in London, destroying material is integral to her practice, which explores the space between figuration and abstraction, existing and vanishing.
Hanaa Malallah’s work stems from the visceral experience of the reality of war. She has often pondered the irony of living in the very country that was – at least partially – instrumental in engineering the context which caused her to flee her home. A country that is now embracing and influencing her work beyond the particularities of her Middle Eastern background. For DOLPH, Malallah will explore these conflicts using the ‘Ruins Technique’, a practice that utilises the destructive process of war by burning, distressing and obliterating material. She says:
“To physically taste war is completely different than to experience it second-hand. The first lesson taught by physically tasting war is that ruination is the essence of all being: Death has no meaning and anything solid can be reduced to nothing in seconds. The learning of this process of vanishing, this morphing of matter to dust, of something into nothing, has led me to conclude that ruination, or destruction is hidden de facto in the phenomenon of figuration. Thus, for the last five years I have been exploring the space located between figuration and abstraction, between existing and vanishing, a concept which for me also holds deep spiritual meaning.”
The artist will also be talking about her influences and the ideas behind her curation in a Talk on Wednesday 20 January from 7pm.
What is DOLPH:
DOLPH is a not-for-profit visual arts group based in Streatham Hill, south London, run by two artists, Paul Cole and Natasha Kahn. DOLPH aims to engage with artists, the public and neighbouring community by staging thought-provoking exhibitions and talks that explore the vagaries and complexities of contemporary art practice. DOLPH puts on six exhibitions a year. Each show features a single artist.
Hanaa Malallah – DOLPH – 14 to 23 January 2016.