Artist interweaves feminist ideals with textiles

'Jungle #1' by artist Hoda Tawakol, from her collection 'Palm Trees,' on display at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde in Dubai. (Supplied)
Updated 01 January 2019
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Artist interweaves feminist ideals with textiles

  • Artist Hoda Tawakol has her first exhibit in Dubai
  • An exhibit about the ever-evolving feminism discourse

DUBAI: French-Egyptian artist Hoda Tawakol’s first Dubai exhibit, which is running at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde until Jan. 3, is a timely contribution to the ever-evolving feminism discourse.

Tawakol, whose work has been featured at the gallery since November, was inspired by her experiences growing up in France, Germany and Egypt.

Tawakol has made a name for herself through the use of hand-dyed and sewn textile pieces, sculptures, fabric collages and works on paper.

Her work, which mimics female cycles of life in an attempt to deconstruct stereotypes, is inspired by the feminist movement of the 1970s.

In fact, interwoven within her artwork are feminist ideals and blatant critiques of patriarchy.

Like many, Tawakol wishes to quell the expectations placed on women.

Her collection, entitled “Dolls,” is an expression of anger at women being objectified.

In “Lures,” she uses a falconry hood, a tool normally used to calm the birds of prey, to symbolize the way in which men oppress powerful women they wish to subdue.

Her artwork is masterfully done. It is symbolic and almost interactive in a way that simple paintings cannot be.

The pieces are so eye-catching, indeed, mesmerizing, not least through her use of captivating color schemes, that they almost beckon a response.

The exhibition is named after the main piece on display, a tapestry of black and red-colored fabric from her series “Palm Trees.”

The piece features hand-dyed textiles in Tawakol’s signature style. The series, which she began in 2015, is inspired by her multi-cultural childhood.

“Palm trees make me nostalgic,” the artist said. “They symbolize the Egypt of the 1940s and 1950s, the era of glamor, the golden age that I didn’t experience. At the same age, my playground in Europe had another kind of palm grove I found in the Palmengarten, a botanical garden in Frankfurt in Germany.”


Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy land

Updated 18 July 2019
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Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy land

  • Authorities estimate the mosquer dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries
  • Rare to find house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers

RAHAT, Israel: Archaeologists in Israel have discovered the remains of one of the world’s oldest rural mosques, built around the time Islam arrived in the holy land, they said on Thursday.
The Israel Antiquities Authority estimates that the mosque, uncovered ahead of new construction in the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert, dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries.
There are large mosques known to be from that period in Jerusalem and in Makkah but it is rare to find a house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers, the antiquities authority said.
Excavated at the site were the remains of an open-air mosque — a rectangular building, about the size of a single-car garage, with a prayer niche facing south toward Makkah.
“This is one of the earliest mosques known from the beginning of the arrival of Islam in Israel, after the Arab conquest of 636 C.E.,” said Gideon Avni of the antiquities authority.
“The discovery of the village and the mosque in its vicinity are a significant contribution to the study of the history of the country during this turbulent period.”