Hawazin is an artist born in the states yet her family initially all come from Saudi. As a young artsist, she has developed a completely original medium called Motion Glitch. Where old meets new her work is a fusion of traditionally approached work on canvas with new technology.
She paints contemporary surrealist works on canvas. Then she takes a picture of the work, digitally manipulates the image and projects it back onto the canvas. She is also developing musical soundtracks to the pictures that will accompany the works using near field headphone technology. Her work is really very original and provocative. Once you see her story it makes more sense as to why she approaches her work as she does.
Read below her own words from questions we asked in order to bring her work alive for those not able to view it directly in a gallery space. An admiration artist who just happens to still be a student!
Where are you from / your heritage? And how has this affected your work?
I was born in the States and I come from a Saudi background. My childhood and adolescence years were spent between America and Saudi. My family moved often and has now relocated in Europe. I went to a Saudi International school in the States and eventually graduated from an American public school.
Since I was little, I have had to face the challenge of acclimating in new environments and building connections with new places and people. Such experiences, along with coming from a background that’s made up of two vastly different cultures, has built in me this interest in the idea of home and foreignness. What enables us to create an attachment to place? Is it through relations of culture or language? Or are attachments made from our lived experiences and the things we witness and create that makes us who we are as subjects?
Settling in new places has given me the privilege of being exposed to different people and new ideas. I have memories of myself trying to connect in different contexts. This has led me to be interested in the practice of remembering and how our memories are fragmentations of our lived experiences.
I find that it sometimes creates a feeling of dissociation with my past. My work is very much driven by that idea. I paint fragments of memory, imagination, and from photographs, I’ve taken, all merged together in one canvas.
What were your first steps to becoming an artist?
My interest in art started as early as the age of five. In elementary school, I used to make graphic novels and sell them to classmates and other kids outside school. My dream was to become an animator. That dream developed into being a multimedia artist once I started a painting degree at a college in America.
You have created an art style called motion glitch can you explain what this is and how you came to explore it?
The technique I created in my work is to produce a repetitive motion, whether a glitch of the painting itself, or an object, or manipulating light and projecting it onto the painting. There is something surrealist in repetition whether in movements or sound that I find intriguing. I wrote my BA thesis on technology’s role in the unconscious mind, suggesting that it’s a contemporary way of surrealist art. I referenced Florian Hecker’s sound art as one of the examples of technology-based artwork. Hecker usually improvises and creates sound pieces that are dynamic, shaping the contexts of both their production and consumption, to ensure no conscious planning went through. Hecker’s sound art is eerie and rapturous, it feels endless because there is no traditional musical structure. It personally makes me feel free. I also get this feeling during live electronic music shows because of their use of looped beats. I always wanted to explore new ways in my work to extract that limitless feeling to the viewer. I care so much about creating an experience and especially one that connects us to our unconscious. Using repetitive in motion onto a still landscape is my take on exploring that.
Tell us a little of other artists that have inspired/influenced your own work and why?
Most of my work is influenced by electronic music, so musicians like Rival Consoles,Jon Hopkins,Brian Enohave been inspirational to my work. I enjoy the hypnotic effect of the use of loops and repetition in songs like Odyssey by Rival Consoles. I usually go to electronic music shows when I want to get inspired for new work.
I also find inspiration in Matthias Weischer paintings. He has a series of work focusing on edges of corners, that are small-scale oil paintings on cardboard.James Turrell and his use of illusion with lights, such as his work Shanta II ( blue) has also influenced my work.
Which are your favourite pieces/ most personally inspiring of your own work? And why?
It is difficult to say, I am very hard on myself when it comes to my work. However, I consider Stupor II to be a major turning point in my work.
How do you link music into your art and do you have a playlist you work to?
I’ve recently started learning Ableton and have been working on creating an ambiance sound that would flow well with the motion projection. I see it as my next step in expanding my ideas and I am excited about it.
Submerged (picture not projection)
So you are still a student how does it feel to already have had a show?
Yes, I am currently doing my master’s at the Royal College of Art. Having my work in an exhibition that is unrelated to school and seeing unfamiliar faces interact with it, was very important for my growth as an artist and a step that happened at the perfect time, especially having my first show with Justin Cook, who has shown me great support and is passionate about what I do . so that definitely keeps me motivated to keep going.
Going forward what are your hopes for creative progression
I would really like to collab with electronic musicians, I feel like we might be able to create a new way of showing both live music and visual art, perhaps in an even more intimate way.
The Justin Cook gallery has shown her work for the first time in the UK. Justin Cook Art. the gallery presented Brave New World, a group show comprising of 4 first year MA artists attending the Royal College of Art. Although these 4 artists work is very different visually from each other the inspiration behind their work is all connected. That connection has everything to do with the world we find ourselves living in today….be that technology, social media or digital manipulation.