Traditional Palestinian embroidery goes pop at Art Dubai

The Andy Warhol of Morocco joins forces with 81 Designs for a colourful collaboration that gives back
Share
Share
Traditional Palestinian embroidery goes pop at Art Dubai

Seeking some fashion-meets-pop-art interior inspo? Then look no further than 81 Designs and its collaboration with renowned British-Moroccan artist, Hassan Hajjaj. Showcasing at Art Dubai, the canvases are influenced by ‘tatreez’, the time-honoured embroidery technique used for centuries by Palestinian women. It’s the kind of thing you might lust (and haggle) over in a bazaar, but it’s now had a major design overhaul by artist known as the Andy Warhol of Morocco. Instead of traditional tapestry – think oversized pop-art prints with an Arabic influence.

Hassan Hajjaj has selected 14 pieces from his Graffix From The Souk collection to be reimagined in embroidery for this year’s Art Dubai

Furthermore, this artwork also gives back. Nadine Y Maalouf, Co-Founder of 81 Designs, and mastermind behind the project tells Grazia, “We work with women from the Palestinian refugee camps in Ain El Helweh, South Lebanon, and provide training, equipment, and emotional support to empower them to create. We want to challenge the stereotypical view that refugees live on handouts and are charity cases. We are helping them to be self-sufficient, with a monthly wage, so they can plan for the future –with at least 60-80 per cent of profits going back to the women.” She adds, “Plus by showcasing this age-old tradition in a modern medium, it means we can reach a different audience and still keep the heritage of tatreez alive.”

Palestinian artisans work on Hassan’s canvases in the refugees camps in Ain El Helweh, South Lebanon

Hassan who visited the camps with Nadine reveals, “It is such an honour to meet the ladies who are striving to survive. This should be an eye-opener to those who do not realise how lucky they are. It makes me proud to collaborate with 81 Designs and have the opportunity to help support these women through my art.”

• Art Dubai takes place at Madinat Jumeirah until 24 March. For more info, visit artdubai.ae and 81designsme.com

Photos: Supplied 

SIGN UP TO HEAR FROM US