latifa saeed weaves palm tree creatures for tashkeel at design days dubai 2015
latifa saeed weaves palm tree creatures for tashkeel at design days dubai 2015
mar 25, 2015

latifa saeed weaves palm tree creatures for tashkeel at design days dubai 2015

latifa saeed weaves palm tree creatures for tashkeel at design days dubai 2015
image courtesy of latifa saeed



working with palm tree leaves, widely available in the united arab emirates, local artist and designer latifa saeed weaves mobile creatures for her ‘kinetic khoos’ series, a sculptural collection of children’s toys made from raw materials. presented at design days duabi 2015 for tashkeel — a contemporary art organization based in dubai committed to facilitating art and design practice for local creatives — the woven, interlocking animals and objects including a crab, fly and fan, are laser cut from palm sheets.


palms are important part of the region, providing shelter and useful everyday tools like fans, food trays, baskets, mats, houses and boats. in emirati history, branches were even bound together and lined with pitch to make water tanks. the fiber of the trunk was turned into rope, fish traps, brushes, sacks, stuffing for mattresses, and the wood was used to make furniture, boxes, roof beams and many other items.

the crab comprises interlocking parts that allow it to move
image courtesy of latifa saeed




‘an inconspicuous use for palm leaves was children’s toys’ saeed describes. I remember when older women used to show us how to play with it when we were young, showing us techniques on how to build a fan, and make it fly, to weave a thick piece of fresh palm leaf strip, and palm dolls dressed in shayla (headscarfs) and thoab (traditional dress); it brings back memories, emotions and laughter.’

palm leaves are woven into sheets and cut into individual parts for the creature
image courtesy of latifa saeed



latifa saeed at design days dubai 2015
video courtesy of tashkeel studio dubai

the crab figure presented for tashkeel at design days dubai 2015
image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

tightly woven palm branches comprise the interlocking parts of the crab
image © designboom

image © designboom

flat slabs of woven palms are cut into and put together
image © designboom

image © designboom

the fly creature, made from palm branches
image courtesy of latifa saeed

image courtesy of latifa saeed

image courtesy of latifa saeed

the crab prior to its assembly
image courtesy of latifa saeed

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