“Love, belonging and connection are the universal sources of true well-being.”
I’ve always had a passion for architecture and design, and while studying for my masters in urban design, I became obsessed with cityscapes, streetscapes and urban spaces. I fell in love with all the little details that make up a home, a street or a neighbourhood- particularly those in the Middle East- external details that leave you wondering about the lives of its inhabitants and the internal environment. This exhibition explores these urban landscapes and the “Hara”, a concept that is nostalgic and sentimental to many people.
In urban design, a ‘good street’ is one in which you can chat with your neighbour without having to shout over traffic noise or worry about your safety. Through my collection of work, I sought to evoke memories of simpler times and of people living together in peace and harmony. In this digital age where people are so disconnected from one another and have turned themselves into isolated cyber zombies, the “Hara” offers the viewer a momentary escape from the rat race and is reminiscent of a time of greater simplicity, community interaction and non-digital social exchange. I purposefully excluded figures or people from this collection, because “we” are no longer part of the “Hara”. We are here, contemplating it wistfully from a distance. In preparing for this exhibition, I often found myself being inspired by amusing illustrations in children’s books, perhaps because children often remind us to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures; such as flying a kite or gazing at the night’s sky, or meeting friends in the “Hara”.
“Nissa bint Raad”