Hair, Poetry is an animated spoken word piece, devised over four weeks of the Connect ME digital residency. It uses a blend of poetry, soundscaping and visual art to explore the artists’ relationship to their hair and its role in their identity and autonomy. During the artists’ first meeting, they started to brainstorm and find shared points of interests. They quickly connected with Hair, its significance in each of their lives and their individual stories and experiences with their hair. The artists thought the idea of a parallel story sounded interesting, coming from two very different cultures but connecting on what it means to be a woman; being told that your natural body is wrong and needs to be changed or hidden.
The artists wanted to present both narratives in a way that felt cohesive and fluid, the initial challenge being how to make their individual contributions feel stronger together rather than apart. After devising ways to link them together, they adopted each other’s styles – Alexis’s spoken word and Rawan’s black and white aesthetic – and combined it into something that they both love: Animation. With this in mind, they began story boarding, getting the bare bones of what they wanted the final product to look like before fleshing out how to transition from scene to scene.
The artists hand drew over 200 frames and combined them together with transitional frames of animation. They recorded natural sounds from the environment and their voices to narrate in both Arabic and English combined with subtitles for each language.
Alexis is an interdisciplinary artist based in Merseyside, who blends spoken word and animation into performance art. As someone of mixed heritage, she seeks to embrace the fluidity of race, culture and sexuality in politically charged performances that champion the basic human right of existing without judgement. Alexis focuses on themes of identity, seeking to embrace the ever-growing multi-cultural communities in the UK. Her projects are often unapologetic in their boldness; the focus on creating a multi-layered experience through a unique blend of tech, text and illustration.
Rawan AlMahrouqi is multidisciplinary contemporary artist from Oman whoes work focuses on the female experience in the Arabian Gulf, double standards, the thin line between tradition and religion, and an overall social commentary.
Her works tend to be neutral, asking questions without giving an opinion and often stating facts as they are to start a conversation, most of her inspiration is drawn from her Khaleeji (Arabian Gulf) culture and the experiences she has had growing up and living in it.
She has had two curatorial experiences at Stal Gallery, Muscat, and has been in 13 group exhibitions in the region and Europe.
The artist is the founder of Makan Studios, a first of its kind local art school that offers a community for the arts in Muscat.
- بالحب: من العدم