Soraya
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Soraya

My art output seems, at a glance, to be a series of random acts of making but there is always a progression and investigations into ideas of self-location. I have always felt somewhat disjointed; wrong place, wrong comprehension, wrong me. I make work as a means of formulating myself and as a way to plug the holes in my identity. My means of making is always ideas led. First the what, then the how.

So my arts practice is diverse. I produce prints, collage, books, sewn pieces, paintings and other objects. The mainstay of my practice however is drawing, but drawing in its broadest sense with scissors, needles, tin snips, fretsaw as well as ink. It is about making shapes and spaces within a line.

I am interested in the daily rituals of life and the relationship of the domestic environment with the outside world. I work from a home-based studio. I am drawn to found materials that carry past associations, despite the artists’ intervention.

My current projects include ceramic pieces inspired by Hieronymus Bosch paintings, a reinterpretation of Renaissance portraits using recycled printed tin cans, cut and riveted together, and story telling in print. I also make collage works using patterned paper from the inside of business envelopes. These feature traditional art subjects, still lives and the human figure drawn from life.

In 2011 I was the lithography intern at Leicester Print Workshop.  This involved a back to basics familiarization with the materials and possibilities of stone lithography. The year\\'s learning culminated in me printing small edition of a children’s book written with my husband.

I am also interested in conceiving work in response to location, and am happy to work on large pieces or on an intimate scale. In the spring of 2009 I undertook a project called A Cake For Every Day. Working with a small independent bakery in Stamford, Lincolnshire, a different cake was made daily and placed centre stage in the shop window to be seen, bought and consumed. The project has a website www.acakeforeveryday.com. The idea was inspired by a 1919’s cake recipe book, The Everyday Cake Book.

From January 2003 till December 2013 I kept Scrap Diaries. Each day I selected a memento from the day’s activities. It was fixed and dated into a handmade book made from folded DL envelopes. Bus or exhibition tickets or shopping receipts take on a new significance when archived in this way. As individual objects they are mundane, but placed within a series of books they take on a more serious intent, a desire to reflect/recall the passing of time, different phases of a life: children growing, the death of a parent. This ‘minutiae of memory’ parallels the written diary but gives the viewer more scope for personal reflection. Unfortunately my date stamp stopped at 2103; so I changed my approach for 2014. Instead of sticking the mementos into a book, I collected scraps by the month before soaking them, then compressing them into bricks. I continue to work with ideas that catalogue my life from scraps of paper. 

Though a friendship with Architect Enric Miralles EMBT I was given the opportunity to be part of the Scottish Parliament project team and was personally responsible for the design of The Cannongate Wall, a 30metre wall leading to the Parliamentarians entrance. The wall is a montage of Scottish stone, text pieces and drawn line on cast concrete. Whilst working as an architectural model maker in Enric Miralles and Carmen Pinos’ studio in 1989 I made friends with Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats, who were then architectural students. I have since worked with them in Copenhagen, Denmark on part of a big exhibition on public housing and they also commissioned me to make a paper theatre to celebrate the completion of their building for Sala Beckett Theatre and Drama School in Barcelona, Spain. 

I completed Foundation at Chelsea College of Art and a B.A Fine Art Middlesex Polytechnic in London followed by an M.A at The University of Northumbria.

Articles

I call the pieces of writing found here my random ramblings. There is no general theme or a coherence of subject matter, not even consistency of voice. I am known for mumbling. I have a dis-clariture of thoughts, both spoken and written. Thoughts, disjunctures, sub-clauses, tangents and mis-comprehensions compete and clamor for attention and make writing strangely painful. I find it hard to grasp any clarity in a thread or arguments so that the reader can understand what exactly I am trying to say. Dyslexia and a general muddled train of thought make it hard for me to write. I fear my written word and the mistakes I can make. However sometimes there is no better way to express an idea, think something though or mark the completion of a project. Writing can also bring me great satisfaction and the wrestling I have made with words can ultimately bring resolution to an idea.

Published Article Topic
23/10/2012 Why Lithography
16/10/2015 Badges of Honour, or weapons of compromise
12/12/2017 Harbouring Doubt