‘Fragile Boundaries’ at Darger HQ


September 8th, 2017

Photo courtesy of Darger HQ

Omaha, NE—Friday, September 2, Darger HQ gallery will open their next show, Fragile Boundaries. Darger brings together local and international artists, this time Camille Hawbaker, based in Omaha, and Jordanian-British artist Julia Ibbini, currently living in Abu-Dhabi. The artists’ works complement each other in that they both consider pattern, color, and texture, and conceptually respond to feelings on location and identity. Hawbaker has lived in various cities in the states, and Ibbini noted that concerns regarding identity might be endemic in the United Arab Emirates.

“There is a very much a sense of displacement for someone like myself living in this part of the world, and I struggle, and a lot of people like myself over here struggle with the sense of identity of being Arab or mixed background and living in the United Arab Emirate and so on quite a bit of my work relates to that sense of displacement,” Ibbini said. “In fact, there’s an Arabic word, ‘Bedoon,’ which means essentially stateless, without a home, I think a lot of us feel like that. We feel very transient here and it does affect my work.”

Hawbaker’s work utilizes textiles and text, which she is burns into the fabric. The words she uses come from her own journaling.

“I have a background in printmaking in my education but I also kind of traveled my way into textiles, so I learned about the devoré process,” Hawbaker said. “It’s also called burn out and it’s used mainly to make cut velvet designs where part of the Velvet is gone, so if you’ve ever seen fabric like that, that’s what it’s used for, but I kind of adapted it to be a liquid instead of a paste and I use it in a pen so I can write with this flammable liquid and then when I use heat it burns wherever I wrote. And so I was kind of thinking about words and constructive words that are building up material but also language that doesn’t quite reflect what I’m trying to say and so I felt like that was an interesting metaphor.”

Ibbini also works with fabric, and she draws influence from traditional Arabic geometric patterns, which are becoming less common in contemporary art of the region. She uses software and a laser cutter to digitally create and layer these patterns that decorate work.

“I mean I’m surrounded by it, you know? I’ve been surrounded by the patterns since I was a child, and so it gradually it seeped in more and more into my work. And I’m always in awe of the craftsmanship in this part of the world—the dedication to craft and the patterns that come true with that, and so I kind of take a modern approach to it using digital means to look at those patterns and to look at that craft but using digital computerized means to sometimes recreate what I see around me.”

Fragile Boundaries will open at Darger HQ on Vinton Street next Friday, September 8 at 6pm and run until November 5. At 8 there will be an artist talk moderated by curator Alex Priest. For more information, visit dargerhq.org.



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