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Khulood Al Jabri


This dreamlike canvas has its origins in a persistent childhood fascination. Khulood Al Jabri recalls the impression made on her by her mother and her mother’s friends – the vibrancy of their friendship and their identities. Her imagination and intrigue saw what was behind the burqa and it is an image she has returned to continually throughout her life. The ‘Burqa’ series were experimental and research-driven. Her attempt is not to convey who is “behind the burqa” but to tell of a more complex relationship between the woman, her traditions and her presentation to the outside world; demonstrating how each of these inform and shape identity. The face of the woman she envisions is as central to the work as the vivid colours that liberate her. Yet it is the burqa, or a sense of the burqa, that is persistently present – suggesting no inherent contradiction. Al Jabri celebrates Emirati women and their advancement but she does not do so at the expense of tradition. There is no binary set up, rather a vivid and joyful celebration of the possible.

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