Soraya Abu Naba’a works under the name “Vertical encounters”, within the collateral collective exhibition of the Venice Biennale 2019,“Personal Structures Idenities” at Palazzo Mora, Venice will be on display until November 24, 2019. The project includes a total of six artworks, which are a crossroads of painting, installation and drawing.
This body of work has been specifically planned for the exhibition “Personal Structures” using the physical gallery space as part of the piece. She used these works as a whole to be an exploratory and introspective instrument, intertwining drawing, painting, and installation to develop a platform where the viewer is invited to relive history through a family’s experience. Additionally, beyond the aesthetics of the pictorial and sculptural, lies her interest in converging her life experiences with those of her grandmother’s, formulating interpretations that transcend a continuous linear representation of time rather a malleable version of it through materiality.
She pushes the boundaries of the historical notions of painting and its structure, forming a vivid and a corporeal language that can go beyond the traditional medium. The work produced inhabits the canvas and the stretcher bars from within and above, generating a visual sensation of organic growth through color and bodily forms. She employed in the composition of the work some of the materials her grandmother handled when working with her husband in their small shop including fabrics, the technique of stitching and stuffing mattresses to braiding hammocks. These objects and crafts became inherent in almost every piece, which transformed each work into a complex reading of a family tree and family relationships. She used her grandmother’s storytelling to depict her psychological painterly portrait and old photographs from family members she had never encountered as the characters of these paintings. Moreover, through “Vertical encounters” she reveals her desire to further the research of the condensation of times through the act of remembering, concretizing the abstract notion of her family’s collective memories with her own wariness of the future. Furthermore, questioning the impressions of contemporary living, hybrid identity and family’s heritage.