What does home mean to you? Is it a building, an area, a particular type of food or music, a language or a style of dress? For artist Abi Green, originally from Peckham, different notions of home are set to collide this month when the exhibition The Place I Call Home reaches Peckham’s Copeland Gallery. As part of an international tour that spans ten venues in seven countries across the Gulf and the UK, the exhibition features the work of 15 photographers and artists from both regions who each examine the theme of home and what it means to them.
Exploring stories of culture and heritage which challenge stereotypes, the exhibition has a particular focus on the lives, the experiences and the opportunities that exist for young people in a dynamic and fast changing world where people are more mobile and globally connected than ever before.
Green’s work, a mixture of still and moving image, is driven by interests in abstract shape and form, often influenced by surrealism. Her work for The Place I Call Home features a contemporary video art/installation alongside photographic prints, shot in the shifting sand dunes of the Arabian Gulf coast and the remote Inland Sea.
London-based Omani artist Eman Ali produced Succession, a new artist photo book, especially for the exhibition. The book draws on archive material relating to the formation of the modern Oman dating from the start of the 1970s to rethink the meaning of identity, history, memory and loss. She uses the journals issued by the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman from 1973 to 1980, collected and preserved by her father during his time as a diplomat.
Kuwaiti multimedia artist Zahed Sultan, also London-based, combines moving image, music and dance in his installation Hiwar which re-imagines the music of Oman and locates it in the country’s dramatic coastal and mountainous landscapes and traditional rituals.
The exhibition features further film, photography and mixed-media works by Hassan Meer (Oman), Ben Soedira (UK/UAE), Sara Al Obaidly (UK/Qatar), Mashael Al Hejazi (Qatar), Moath Alofi (Saudi Arabia), Mohammed Al-Kouh (Kuwait), Hussain Almosawi & Mariam Alarab (Bahrain), Ammar Al-Attar (United Arab Emirates), Gillian Robertson (UAE/UK), Sebastian Betancur-Montoya (Qatar/Colombia), Josh Adam Jones (UK/Oman) and Richard Allenby-Pratt (UK/UAE).
Exhibition curator David Drake said “I’m delighted to be bringing this exhibition to London, a truly cosmopolitan city noted for its inclusivity and welcoming attitude to international visitors and foreign residents. Through working on the exhibition for two years, I have learned a great deal about the cultural richness and diversity of the Arab world, and also about the Arab presence across the UK.
I have had positive experiences working with artists, students, cultural institutions and partners in all seven countries. I’m also proud to have shed light on the Gulf region and its historical and contemporary relationship to the UK, going beyond stereotyped images and the narrow representation of life in the Gulf that is so often projected”.
The Place I Call Home
Copeland Gallery, London