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Zeena Portrait 2.jpg

Profile from Zeena Al Tai [@xyzeena]

Artist Statement

"To experience the aura of an object we look at means to invest

 it with the ability to look back at us."

Walter Benjamin



Exploring the consequence of ones trace; I aim to bring to the forefront of my practice a consideration for the surroundings we inhabit and how we imprint our own energy onto them.

I investigate the concept of our continual internal/external debate which we imprint onto our personal belongings and surroundings through use of both personally relevant objects and media (these include heirlooms or ‘artefacts’, previous artworks, found objects and old redundant electronic items) juxtaposed alongside a use of synthetic, industrial grade media such as bin liners, gaffer tape, bricks and tarmac. Other processes include use of erasure with sandpaper and documenting the trace it holds alongside repurposing and digital ‘fracturing’ of photographed works; this aims to reflect the transformative nature that energetic imprinting can leave on a space and the items inside.

A recurring motif in the majority of the works is that of the obscured, cave painting inspired ‘sprite’. These figures lean into both the arcane, esoteric nature that the work explores (that being our energetic ‘imprinting’ as spiritual beings) whilst also functioning as a nod to themes of redundancy and the transitory ‘ghostlike’ nature of the trace. 

There are two key artists who influence my practice, the first being Christopher Wool; more specifically his consideration for the copy and its relevance as a springboard for future works, the second being the work of Roger Ballen. Features of Ballen’s work that permeate my own practice include his antiaesthetic regard for form and sculpture, his representation of our own perceived redundancy and the arcane language he creates through the objects used and defaced in his installation work. Side influences include writings on horror such as Julia Kristeva’s The Powers of Horror and novelist H.P. Lovecraft’s exploration of cosmicism, the more esoteric side to my influence.

Oscar Holmes, 2020

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