Sabah Arbilli, Selfness, Acrylic on canvas, 150x150 cm / Courtesy of the Artist
Recent exhibition at DarAlfanoon Art Gallery in Kuwait presented Sabah Arbilli's new body of works, painting and sculptures. With calligraphy as his source of expression Arbilli told us that "the exhibition not only continues the unbinding of classical Arabic literature and Art from itself, but it does so at the intersection of migrations, forced or otherwise, that compels a remarking of the pathways of decision-making."
In his new work Arbilli explores "who is making the decision, what is it marked against, how does it look from political to theatrical, from empowered networks to the chaos of those who are left without decision. More importantly, how can modern calligraphy help us see the process of dislocation differently? Is that very process, the moment at which a decision is made, cutting ourselves from centered positions to the chaotic present."
Sabah Arbilli, Procrastinating Maze, Acrylic on canvas, 150x150 cm / Courtesy of the Artist
Sabah Arbilli, Read me, Acylic on canvas, 150x130 cm / Courtesy of the Artist
Sabah Arbilli, Scribble, Acrylic on canvas, 130x130 cm / Courtesy of the Artist
Recently in Arbilli's work we see a significant shift towards sculpture. Arbilli explains "I have always really seen the letter as a 3D form and wanted to express some of the works through this medium. It’s a way of representing the meaning and making a statement though the forms and feeling the presence."
Sabah Arbilli, Decision makers, Stainless steel coated, Installation view / Courtesy of the Artist
Sabah Arbilli, Decision makers, Stainless steel coated, 40x40x40 cm each / Courtesy of the Artist
We asked Sabah Arbilli to select one of his works and he said "It would be very difficult to select one particular work, but my new series of the ‘Amused-lol' I feel connected with. I released my new collection representing the topic of laughing out aloud, LOL in the modern word of technology. The series contains elements of the subject matter in which I self-question many things. The contents signifies how I feel and represents the letters which make 'hahahaha'. It disseminates the fragments of life when we laugh, at the moments which are captured. The in-between moments in our life’s that we see but often don’t notice."
Sabah Arbilli, Lol, Acrylic on canvas, 150x150 cm / Courtesy of the Artist
Arbilli shared with us that his future plans are "to exhibit more internationally and work on bodies of works which are underpinning the theme, personal journeys and interpretations through the work. One cannot plan for tomorrow but strive for tomorrow with having aims and ambitions."
Sabah Arbilli, Inner control, Sculpture stainless steel coated, 70x40x40 cm / Courtesy of the Artist
Sabah Arbilli, Migration, Stainless-steel-coated, 60x60x60 cm / Courtesy of the Artist
Sabah Arbilli, Expression of Bigotry, Acrylic on paper, 30x30 cm each / Courtesy of the Artist
Born in Iraq in 1977, Sabah Arbilli received a graduate degree in Visual Arts from the University of Wales. Currently based between the United Kingdom and Qatar, Arbilli has widely exhibited throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Australia in galleries, art fairs, biennales, and institutions. An award winning artist, his works are housed in public and private collections, including the national collection of public sculpture in Qatar; the Islamic Museum of Australia; and the United Nations headquarters in Switzerland, where he held a solo exhibition in 2010. Arbilli recent exhibited his work in the Artspace Hamra; Bait Muzna Gallery in Oman; Katara Gallery in Qatar, Qatar Foundation in Qatar and DarAlfanoon Art Gallery in Kuwait.
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