Artist Statment by Amira Badawy

Death is a universal theme. However people usually disregard it. People usually tackle the issue of what comes after death. I wanted to try to imagine how does dying feel like. To me death is an artist, and its canvas is the city. Death is everywhere, from cats that were run over by cars to humans who were shot. Death is usually portrayed as something sinister and evil that should be feared. However, I view death as something that is liberating: it sets the soul free from the body. These past few years many friends and relatives of mine passed away. Suicide, age, cancer, and accidents were all the causes of death.

          I tried portraying dying in different ways. After all, not all deaths would feel the same. Regardless, they all lead to the same resolution. I used the skeleton as the symbol of death. I chose a skeleton because it is genderless, ageless, and without race since death will visit everyone regardless of who they are. My grandmother passed away in April and he passion for sewing and embroidery inspired me to try and learn them. That is why I mainly chose embroidery and fabric as my medium. All the pieces contain skeletons, or parts of a skeleton, and portrays a way of dying. For my dark navy blue piece, the flowers are what grab the attention however the almost invisible skeletal hand is a reminder that death lurks everywhere and it could be subtle and even beautiful. In my chiffon piece the fabric contains the essence of the message. The almost invisible fabric portrays how unpredictable death is. It is a light fabric combined with the image of feathers show how dying could be a feeling of bliss and freedom just like flying. In my gray piece, I only used embroidery. I focused on the contrast of what people usually see death as (the skull) compared to how I see it (the colorful brain). I achieved the contrast by using bright colors for the brain. My fourth piece is intended to be a bit comical in an uncomfortable sense. I always found it funny when eyes are replaced by buttons. My final piece is a white fabric, showing the purity of death. The idle skull is holding a Nerium Oleander which is a fatal flower. I avoided the use of both black fabric and thread because I found it too cliché how black is always linked to death.

          All in all, my theme is death. I find this topic redundant in art so I tried to shed a light on the topic from a different angel through my perspective. Art is a way I embrace to interpret emotions I can’t otherwise quite understand. Although my execution isn’t professional, I tried to get out of my comfort zone and use mediums and materials I am not used to so I can challenge myself. 

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