SORAYA SIKANDER

PROJECT: Urban Dialogues 2013 with Janice Wilkins and Caroline Jaine (Cambridge)

PROPOSAL

URBAN DIALOGUES COLLABORATIONS 2013

reduced mood board for 3FF urban dialogue proposal 

Caroline Jaine, Soraya Sikander, Janice Wilkins

Soraya

The above artists propose working in collaboration in response to the

 Urban Dialogues 2013 theme of “Reflections”

“Becoming Something Else”

We are three diverse women living in the UK and Pakistan aged 29, 43 and 51 who would use the opportunity to reflect on the cultural and religious journeys made by our forefathers (and mothers).

From Cork to the East End

From Poland to Britain

From India to Pakistan

A dilution of Catholicism

A denial of Judaism

A conversion from Hinduism

Becoming non-religious, Christian, Muslim.

And then becoming us.

We would hold a series of sharing/listening sessions across thousands of miles, as each of us researches the past and reflects on the impact on our own identity. This process will be very much part of the collaboration – it may be recorded, documented, celebrated.  We will meet using skype, and although not essential face to face meetings may also be possible as travel between the UK and Pakistan is being considered. A combined aesthetic outcome will be developed through the sessions – it may be a single object, embellished with each of the women’s responses.  It may be simply the presentation of the process and dialogue. Or it may be a presented as a complex set of individual creative responses, woven through the structure of the listening exercises.

Each of us have already worked significantly on the attached mood boards, looking at work, shapes, colours and materials that inspire and some strong individual ideas have emerged. Soraya is motivated to use colour as means to express her cultural identity, Janice looks more sculpturally at objects that hold meaning, whilst Caroline is inspired by the chalk marks made by her ancestor who was a tailor.  For each the use of fabric is a common ground in our work and stories – and yet we want to explore unexpected “conversions” in the use of material.  A shirt from wood?  A shoe of stone?  The juxtaposition of the watery greys of London, the lush greens of Ireland and the vibrancy of India/Pakistan. And each artist enjoys the aesthetic of the hand-written family tree.

The mood boards also contain examples of past work relevant to this proposal.

Although some idea of aesthetics have been discussed, we feel it is important for the process to inform the final presented art-work and would like to leave space for modification, development and even conflict through the journey.  All of us are interested in process and research presented as art.

Caroline and Janice have collaborated creatively before with socially based work, but have never touched on personal or spiritual matters.  Both consider this a major challenge!  Soraya and Caroline have been exchanging emails for about a year.  Both with an interest in how Pakistan is presented to the world, they have been seeking an opportunity to collaborate since they first spoke. Caroline has been engaging with Urban Dialogues for a number of years, primarily through her cross-faith collaborative piece “The Mary Profile Picture” and welcomes the opportunity to work creatively with 3FF.

We believe we offer a strong collaboration of committed, qualified, diverse and experienced artists who will not be afraid to challenge each other. We are applying for this commission to demonstrate how three women from very different backgrounds can operate together – our common ground discovered through creativity, but may be evident elsewhere.  We have stories to tell.

“Becoming Something Else” references both our ancestors cultural and religious journeys, but also allows us through genuine self-reflection to bond – the “something else” being the collaboration and the art that we produce as a result.

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