Dana Awartani

Dana Awartani Artist

The work of Dana Awartani (b. 1987, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) aspires to the contemporary revival of traditional geometry and historical modes of making through crafts and artisanal practices. It embraces a multitude of methods and mediums: performance, intricate manuscript illumination, parquetry, ceramics, embroidery, and pigment preparation. Her practice deconstructs, reinterprets, and repeats sign systems, revealing their immutable patterns and demonstrating the structure of their meaning. 

Trained at the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, London, following a BA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, Awartani is currently furthering her practice and commitment to preservation of the Islamic illuminations skills through the completion of an Ijaza certificate, in order to be officially eligible to transmit these skills. 

Awartani’s recent group exhibitions include: Zamakan, Ithra, Dammam, Saudi Arabia (2019); Unsettlement, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, Australia (2018); Shift, The Mosaic Room, London, UK (2017); Cities of Conviction, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, USA (2017); Exhibition 1, Institute of Arab and Islamic Art, New York, USA (2017); 21,39 Jeddah Arts, Jeddah (2017); Take Me (I’m Yours), The Jewish Museum, New York (2016); Rhizoma, Edge of Arabia, Venice Biennale (2013); and Show of Faith, Katara Art Center, Qatar (2013). She participated in the Rabat Biennale, Morocco (2019), Sesc_Videobrasil Biennale, São Paulo, Brazil (2019), the Jakarta Biennale, Indonesia (2017), the Marrakech Biennale, Morocco (2016), the Yinchuan Biennale, China (2016), and the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2016). 

Her solo exhibitions include: The Silence Between Us, curated by Laura Metzler, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, UAE. (2018); Detroit Affinities: Dana Awartani, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit (2017); and The Hidden Qualities of Quantities, Athr, Jeddah (2015). 

Awartani’s work is in the collections of the Sheikh Zayed National Museum (Abu Dhabi, UAE), the Greenbox Museum (Amsterdam), The British Museum (London), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C., USA), and the Guggenheim, among others.

Image credits: Ali Alsumayin