Part of the Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artist Fellowship, I went through a short two-day workshop in the glass depart- ment’s hot shop. Designed for teams of two, the workshop gave us a quick and dirty introduction to glass and its material prop- erties, the processes of shaping hot glass, and the dynamic and choreography of the hot shop. In this series, my teammate and I used glass “stringers” to building up structures that almost become architectural, maneuvering ideas of scale, space, and time. Glass, requiring a specific annealing sequence to cool down without breaking at a certain volume, was continuously snap- ping in some parts as we worked, while still holding shape in others.
Deceptive Shelters was an attempt to build a structure, a shelter that will never feel sheltering. Unfriendly, hostile and morbidly uninviting, the structure relies on its surroundings support, held tenuously with delicate points that touch the warehouse. Wire and wick and plaster start to create an impression of aesthet-
ic ephemerality, the bird spikes are turned down towards the human viewer, speaking of the feeling of unwanted-ness in the homeless and the refugee. It is a washed out web structure that at once is defining a space and rendering it uncomfortable to live in.
Thinking about ideas of permanent shelters rendered tempo- rary, and temporary shelters ending up permanent residenc- es for generations, I began a series of small-scale studies that explore this dichotomy. Building structures by stretching candle wick between bird spikes, an apparatus used to stop pigeons from living on walls and roofs, and then dripping candle wax on them. The process transformed the studies from angular to softer forms. The experiments included videos of burning and unburning the little structures.
Part of charette-style found-object workshop, run in collaboration with artist Hazem Harb, the installation was conceived as a response to ideas of shelter and space-making, utilizing both 2D and 3D media akin to those used in the planning of buildings.