What images keep you company in the studio?
A photograph of my mother [six months pregnant with me] and my sister, taken at Qantab Beach in Muscat, dated 1988. And a photograph of my grandmother at the Taj Mahal, dated 1959.
What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?
Strangely it was perhaps this sweater that was hand-knitted for me by my mother in 2006. The work features a swan coiled around the neck in intarsia knit. I’m not entirely sure why this came to mind before all other [far better known] contemporary artworks that I might also say were important to me then. But perhaps the sweater signifies or demonstrates most simply, how a textile-making process was employed to create an object that I still have hanging against my wall; one that I consider to have retained a perfect pitch between humour, material curiosity and intergenerational dialogues. Moreover, the object reminds me of how I arrived here several years ago, to explore ideologies around craft tethered to feminism and art theory.
Who is your ideal studio buddy?
My feline companion Mungbean.
What music are you listening to?
A fair bit of Olivier Messiaen lately, particularly Oiseaux Exotiques.
What are you reading?
Going between a few each day; I suppose as part of the research for my MA at the International Institute of Modern Letters. Last week I completed Eros the Bittersweet by Anne Carson and Marguerite Duras’ Summer Rain [La pluie d’été]. This week I’ll be looking at poems by Gieve Patel and Etel Adnan.