For her first solo exhibition at Athr, artist Dana Awartani shows three new projects intertwined by their exploration of ritual as gestures within which geometric and organic forms sit at the centre of a set of performed sequences acted out on paper and canvas. Each project questions the formalist and invariable interpretations of the Qu’ran prevalent in the Saudi judicial systems that sit opposed to more liberal undercurrents within contemporary Saudi society. The artist works with coding and geometric forms, including pre-Islamic talismanic designs and systems, to delineate her own process. For Awartani, who is studying towards her Ijazah, knowledge and understanding of the Qu’ran is implicit to her practice. She uses this to draw out and challenge underlying assumptions associated to the Islamic faith, plucking out rituals that straddle religions and behaviours, expounding their inherent possibilities across a multitude of neutral contexts.
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