Tableware tells a mini story of a fragmented experience of Kuwait, and growing up with a wider experience of the world. As a person with formative experiences from Kuwait, London and the USA my interpretation of culture is influenced by this expansive territory. The series combines a sense of nostalgia, play, and critical probing of the meaning of culture.
The items gain potency from my personal stories, but have also transformed in intent through the fabricators hands and the relationships built during their production. They are Kuwaiti through their social significance, and the multinational group of craftsmen they brought together in Kuwait. They are an exposition of the vitality of story telling and word of mouth communication in Arabic craft and culture.
Tasaht Al-Kar’ah (Prayer Candle Holder) | When I was little my mum would wash my hair with a bowl covered with Islamic prayers on the inside. My original design intention was to replicate a nail used during historic boat building, however while I was developing this form I unintentionally referenced the dimensions of the prayer bowl by my side. When I showed my ailing grandmother the candle holder, she fabricated a story about a similar prayer bowl she used to feed the poor.
Dawama (Spin Top) | Emblazoned on the former notes of Kuwait are children occupied in playing historic games. These games brought together the community as an innocent and unprovocative occupation, and still live on in our stories. One of these games is the Dawama. The Dawama communicates the multinational nature of our culture, as a trade route, where a game that had a Kuwaiti adaptation was not necessarily designed in Kuwait but instead imported from other countries and gained significance through story telling.
Baloo’aa Coaster (Manhole Coaster) | In countries around the world manhole covers have been used as sculptural reliefs within an urban environment, and have been customised as subtle emblems of local taste. In Kuwait the abstracted pattern pictured in this coaster is quite common and has become an unnoticed part of our vernacular. Despite some of the manhole covers being fabricated in Kuwait and others being fabricated abroad, and imported, they are primarily variations of the same pattern. Upon being called to attention a local of Kuwait will recall a nostalgic familiarity with the pattern.
Tafaya (Ashtray) | Growing up in a conservative Islamic family and society aspects of our culture that contradicted an innocent and Islamic portrayal were censored from us. Despite this antique and ornate ashtrays made of glass and metal were scattered all around our house and used for food waste. They were beacons of this dichotomy. As a child raised within Western culture in Western schools Tafayah references the moral chasm between millennials upbringing and that of older generations.
|Material||Copper. Brass. Antimony|
|Dimension||5cm to 11cm diameter|