dana awartani visualizes gaza's devastation at venice art biennale through layers of dyed silk

dana awartani visualizes gaza's devastation at venice art biennale through layers of dyed silk

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Come, let me heal your wounds. Let me mend your broken bones

 

Palestinian-Saudi artist Dana Awartani makes her debut at the Venice Art Biennale 2024 with an expressive installation of darning on medicinally dyed silk. Titled Come, let me heal your wounds. Let me mend your broken bones, the installation explores how war and terrorism continuously lead to the destruction of historical and cultural sites in the Arab World. She translates that never-ending tragedy by expanding her artwork, adding more layers and fabric ‘to make room for newer documentation,’ notes writer and researcher Saira Ansari. 

dana awartani visualizes gaza's devastation at venice art biennale through layers of dyed silk
Come, let me heal your wounds. Let me mend your broken bones, 2024 | darning on medicinally dyed silk, 520 × 1250 × 297 cm | image © Marco Zorzanello, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

 

 

visualizing the mass destruction in gaza

 

For many years, Dana Awartani (see more here) delved into the craftsmanship of indigenous communities mainly across the Middle East and India, seeking the wisdom and knowledge of artisans to enrich her work. For this particular exhibition at the Venice Art Biennale, the artist utilizes that knowledge to reflect on the mass destruction witnessed in Gaza since last October; bombings and bulldozers flattening homes and hospitals and places of worships for months, indiscriminately. Assembled into a series of suspended yellow and red fabric, the installation marks these devastated sites through holes torn across the yards of silk. 

dana awartani visualizes gaza's devastation at venice art biennale through layers of dyed silk
Dana Awartani makes her debut at the Venice Art Biennale | image © designboom

 

 

how dana awartani uses darning on medicinally dyed silk

 

These holes are then darned, which is ‘a fading practice that is more intimate yet undervalued compared to patchwork – each gash tenderly as a gesture for healing; the resulting scars symbolize the physical and emotional ones left behind in the real world,’ continues  Ansari. ‘The fabric is dipped in herb and spice-based natural dyes that carry medicinal value, using the sacred healing properties embedded in the traditional textile dyeing practices of Kerala, which Awartani spent time learning.’  You can catch Dana Awartani’s installation at the Arsenale, as part of the Venice Art Biennale’s main exhibition, Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere. 

dana awartani visualizes gaza's devastation at venice art biennale through layers of dyed silk
image © designboom

dana awartani visualizes gaza's devastation at venice art biennale through layers of dyed silk
image © designboom

dana awartani visualizes gaza's devastation at venice art biennale through layers of dyed silk
image © Marco Zorzanello, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

dana awartani visualizes gaza's devastation at venice art biennale through layers of dyed silk
image © designboom

dana-awrtani-designboom-full

image © Marco Zorzanello, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

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