Talk | Mahnaz Fancy in conversation with Fari Bradley

 April 4th, 2017 at 7pm

Light, death, lyrics and materiality – inherent themes in the exhibition Stitches to Save 9 With at The Mine until April 24th. Join art critic Mahnaz Fancy in conversation with the artist Fari Bradley, on the works in this current series of textile and light pieces. During the discussion, the songs that inspired several of the pieces will be listened to, and the ‘sayings’ that feature in each work are considered as a whole, from the perspective of a sound artist working with embroidered and electronically powered, text-based works.

There will be a short electronics vs cello performance with Fari Bradley and Clara Asuaje after the talk.


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Stitches to Save 9 With | Solo Show: Fari Bradley


The Mine+ is pleased to present Stitches To Save 9 With, a solo show of new works by Fari Bradley.

In this exhibition, Fari Bradley explores the nuances of language, history and memory. Contemplating either the usefulness or destructive nature of traditionally recited proverbs, truisms, and dictums alongside several new ones for today, Bradley renders them as signifiers, using textile and mixed media.

Stitches to Save 9 With pits the deliberate form of stitching against quickly spoken lines, fleeting inspirations and ‘quippage’. A proverbial expression, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is an incentive: to mend a tear in a cloth, now, before it becomes larger and harder to mend. The ‘nine’ refers to the greater number of stitches that will be needed later, if one quick stitch isn’t performed ‘in time’. This and other wise homilies in this body of work are falling out of use – just as hand stitching itself is disappearing.

Using a range of materials, Bradley employs methods and tools that formed part of her upbringing. With a parent who studied and practiced professional dress-making, offcuts had been Bradley’s childhood playthings. Here, alien found objects, chanced upon threads and remnants serve as inspiration for her work, chiming with the popular reaction for a DIY aesthetic, against today’s overwhelmingly disposable culture of low cost production. Such stitched works, while historically a hobby for the upper classes, also reference a certain Anglo-Saxon work ethic preached at the poor. Referencing this WWII ‘make do and mend’ work ethic, spoken, chanted lessons for life are rendered in traditionally feminine techniques, employing domestic skills that young girls once had to demonstrate in order to become ‘marriage material’.

Decoratively, Bradley’s pieces resist a perspective framed in language, that often posits the idea that human experience is ‘male experience’. No man is an island, for example. Yet while Stitches to Save 9 With is founded on the often sombre messages behind these mechanically memorised sayings, Bradley’s techniques employ layers of satirical significance and testingly playful semantics.

Working mainly as a sound and radio artist, Bradley’s previous works include musical scores rendered in weave, or sculptures combining textiles and electronics. Knitting patterns were a doorway into the algorithmic processes of electronic music, while sewing patterns were parallels to the diagrams used in building electronic circuits, and are a visual language Bradley has explored in her arts practice since 2006.

Marcel Proust’s observation “The remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were”  inspired Bradley to visualise memory expressed as an imperfect picture, on which we have all embroidered our own threads, colouring experience as we saw them. Here the emotion involved in remembering contrasts with the automated way in which, for centuries, past generations have handed down these immutable wisdoms. Such spoken adages were modified to make them easy to remember and repeat, yet lack the vital quality of adaptation, by which all things must survive.

The Mine+ is a brand new platform dedicated to emerging regional talent and international guest artists. It is delighted to host Fari Bradley for the space’s third exhibition.

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The Impact of Tangency | Duo Show: Nastaran Safaei & Farnaz Rabieijah


The Mine is pleased to present The Impact of Tangency, a two-person show by Iranian artists Nastaran Safaei and Farnaz Rabieijah. A tangent is like a glancing blow. Perhaps you barely feel it. Perhaps the actual point of contact is so small so as to be nearly imperceptible, but it still leaves its mark all the same. A bruise spreading across a cheekbone; ink blooming across paper. We talk about tangents—that point when an object, any object, touches a curve—as distractions, as a kind of veering off course. At the same time, there’s a certain honest immediacy in following a tangent, and perhaps a certain vulnerability too.

Safaei and Rabieijah are best known for their large installations that translate contemporary gendered and societal concerns, often at a monumental scale. Here, the artists translate themselves. The longtime friends found themselves standing at similar junctures in their lives, both as artists and as women. In these new bodies of work, they trade in their usual medium of sculpture, which involves extended tactile contact and a very manual engagement with the materiality of the object, for a series of experimental approaches to print. What emerges, unfurling luxuriously onto paper like a long-dormant shoot, is a feminized interiority and a sense of connection, both to nature and to the outside world.

In her Body Impressions series, Safaei uses her own body to make marks on textiles. Unlike the full-body prints of Jasper Johns or David Hammons, however, the body is not depicted but only intimated here, with smears and swooshes that might be a shoulder or perhaps a knee; it is unclear. Spidery skeins of dots connect body parts to each other, sometimes trailing off over the page with a tentativeness that directly contrasts with the assertive intensity of these body prints. In Rabieijah’s Spinning Plate series, meanwhile, plants are pressed into paper to leave beautiful deboss-like indentations. Unlike pressed and preserved plants, the botanic matter is then removed

And discarded, leaving only the void behind, like a trail of perfume after someone has forever walked away.


About Nastaran Safaei

Sculptor Nastaran Safaei (b. 1984, Tehran) works in multiple mediums including pottery, clay, fiberglass, papier-Mache and various metals. Drawing from Jungian archetypes and ancient Iranian myths, she imbues mundane, objects with her experiences to explore notions of femininity, time, the subconscious, and psychological healing.  Her work has been widely exhibited both in Iran and around the world, including shows at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (Iran), Kunstverein Konstanz (Germany), Seokdang Museum of Dong-A (South Korea), and Kunst Zeug Haus (Switzerland).

About Farnaz Rabieijah

Born in 1981 in Tehran, Farnaz Rabieijah studied Biology at Tehran Azad University and graduated with an MSc in Plant Biology from Tehran Payam e Noor University in 2007. These organic, vegetal forms would later find resonance in her sculptural practice, the two main strands of which deal with hearts, figures and letterforms. She has exhibited widely in the region and in Europe, including participations in the 10th Iranian contemporary Ceramics Biennial (2011), Iranian Contemporary Sculpture Biennial (2011). Rabieijah won the “Best Guest” prize of the British Art Medal Society in 2012, and in 2015 was shortlisted for the Magic of Persia art prize.


The Mine is pleased to present Superplasticizer, a solo show of new works by French artist Vincent Abadie Hafez.

Construction materials, like people, have yield points. There’s only so much they can be malleable or flexible; there’s only so much they can take before something snaps. We can understand the city the same way. Dubai is often dismissed as super-plastic, with a similar kind of brittle fragility at its core. Yet when certain superplasticizing polymers are added to fresh concrete paste, the result is a dramatically stronger material that is far less susceptible to stress. They also act as a dispersant, spreading gravel and sands evenly throughout the admixture, and prohibiting particle segregation. Transposed to Dubai, truly a multicultural city, the superplasticizer functions as the kind of social glue and emotional intelligence that quietly holds together a truly multicultural, fully integrated city.

Over the years Zepha’s practice has expanded from its urban beginnings to the gallery wall, but a responsiveness to the built environment, borne of a deep study of each locale, remains central. For this new body of paintings, the artist uses a superplasticizer mixed with cement, rubble, and sand from the streets of Dubai—the raw materials of the city—to create texturally rich canvases. The surfaces are then worked over in his characteristic caligraffiti style which he originated in the 1990s. Borne out of his twinned interests in Arabic calligraphy and street art, its inherent ephemerality is acutely suited to a city defined by its transience. Brush strokes are supplanted with marks made by scrap woods from nearby construction sites, which are then further repurposed into a sculptural bas-relief triptych.

Above all, Superplasticizer is a study in scarcity (instead of water, Zepha reuses AC runoff from the gallery). The works gesture not only to peak oil but also to a future world without plastics whose existence depends on oil-derived petrochemicals. More subtle is the allusion to peak sand—despite being surrounded by it in Dubai, only a very specific consistency is appropriate for concrete—and the reminder that nothing is quite as abundant as it seems. A hidden poetics of destruction and creation emerges: the writing on the wall is not a warning, but a tribute.

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The Mine+ introduces Word to Mother, the first solo exhibition of British artist in the UAE.

Born and raised in an English seaside town, Word to Mother is an artist whose work explores feelings, healing and identity. Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future challenges the material and mental superficialities of contemporary world, peeling them back one by one to search for the Genuine intentions that lie beneath our actions.

Gold kisses, butterfly tattoos, what lies behind social media personas and a Native American respect for the earth are treated with overflowing tenderness and the fullness of being alive, leaving their viewers not only with a space for contemplation but a set of instructions for inner regeneration.

An internationally recognised talent in the graffiti scene, Word to Mother balances urban art with a sensitivity to the landscapes of his childhood, using multidimensional layering and raw, textural elements, such as tea stains, gold leaf and salvaged materials. The younger and more rebellious spirit of his previous work is now channelled into an artistic preference for considered actions and a longing for the authenticity of experiences, as shown in artworks such as ‘Breath Deeply and With Purpose’ and ‘Inner Bliss’.

The Mine+ is a brand new platform dedicated to emerging and guest artists. It is delighted to host Word to Mother for the space’s second exhibition.

The Mine+ is a brand new platform dedicated to emerging talent and international guest artists. It is delighted to host Maryam Keyhani for its inaugural exhibition.

rwood_maryam_colourtest-001The Mine+ introduces  “Here, There Are Others”, a new series of work by Iranian-Canadian artist Maryam Keyhani in her first solo exhibition.

Using handmade brushes, combs, epoxy, plaster, paint, foam, headpieces and other spontaneous materials, Maryam Keyhani presents a collection of makeshift objects, inspired by her own experiences of trauma and anxiety. Both beguiling and disturbing, the surreal figurines question the relationship between perception and identity. What costumes do we bear in times of inner trauma? Each object acts as a “self-portrait” of the artist’s own divided self. “Our internal turmoils can become so complex they create different characters within one body,” says Keyhani, who describes the exhibition as a “dinner of misfits”.

Keyhani, who is based between Toronto and Berlin, also brings into question her own role as an artist and creator of objects. The brush – the traditional tool of the painter – is also a domestic appliance, used to beautify as well as to sweep away dirt. Here, the artist repurposes it to explore her own subconscious. “In this sense, the artist is no longer sullen but happy with her disposition,” describes writer and peer Tara Aghdashloo. “And what comes from this practice of exploration, creation and abstraction is an invitation to be faceless, strange and fantastic all the same.”

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The Mine is pleased to present Haptic Trajectories, a solo exhibition of American artist Johnny Abrahams, for the first time in the Middle East.

From the earliest IBM computers, which based their punch card technologies on 19th century Jacquard looms, to through to binary and bytecode weaving, technology and the fibre arts share a richly intertwined history. In Haptic Trajectories, weaving informs the artist’s visual vocabulary as well as his process-oriented practice but the outcome is decidedly digital. Abraham’s process is a meticulous, accretive one, not dissimilar to the way that code is built up line by line. Tape is used to create repetitive line patterns that are superimposed, rotated and slightly phased to destabilise and dizzy the viewer’s gaze. In particular, the moiré paintings at once suggest the waviness of watered silks and the render errors that you might get when taking a photo of a screen, as well as the Java lake applet that was so ubiquitous in the early days of the internet.

We might consider this technological evolution as an example of Ray Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns, which proposes that technological change is exponential. Yet Abrahams’ paintings draw their power from a series of processing failures that result from the limitations of hardware—camera sensors, in the case of the moirés, or our own optical nerves. As such, engaging with these works is not contingent on a familiarity with art history (1960s experiments with op-art and shaped canvases might immediately come to mind) so much as a shared biology, which suggests all the flattening potential of technology at its utopian best. High-contrast figure-ground relationships trick the eye into perceiving afterimages of colour where there is none, creating the curious sensation of getting screenburn from acrylics on canvas.

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