Sama Alshaibi: Silsila
This solo exhibition consists of several photographic series and videos by Iraqi artist Sama Alshaibi. Named for the Arabic word silsila, or "link," the exhibition is meant to represent the joining of individuals to one another, humans with the natural world and the self to the divine. Inspired by the 14th-century explorer and scholar Ibn Battuta, Alshaibi retraces his journeys through the Middle East, North Africa and the Maldives off the west coast of India. Recording sublime desert terrains and vast skies of countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Palestine, Alshaibi presents the feminine form—isolated among these spare landscapes—as a metaphor for humanity and the natural world, all in jewel-like colors, geometric patterning, mirroring and symmetry to reference the formal qualities of Islamic art traditions.