Gallery One at Art Dubai 2018
21 -24 March 2018
Madinat Jumeirah
Al Sufouh Road, Umm Suqeim
Dubai, UAE
Booth number: C4

Gallery One is pleased to announce its participation in Dubai Art Fair 2018, at both the modern and contemporary sections from the 21st till the 24th of March 2018. At the modern section booth M15, Gallery One will showcase artworks by the Palestinian modernist artist Nicola Saig (1863 – 1942), the booth will reveal twelve paintings that has been recently discovered by George Al Ama in Rajai’ Zacharia’s home in Bethlehem.
At the contemporary section booth C4, Gallery One will present a solo exhibition by Amer Shomali entitled Broken Weddings inspired by a an old Palestinian embroidered wedding dress (thobe) that was auctioned for sale in in Israeli auction house.

Broken Weddings
2018

In 2017, an old Palestinian embroidered wedding dress (thobe) was exhibited for sale in an Israeli auction. The dress originated from Jaffa’s villages. It was obvious that the dress was never worn.

The dress provoked my imagination and it brought to my mind Hemingway’s very short story “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn”.
I contacted the auction house to get more information. I was told that the seller is an Israeli who inherited the dress from his father. His father was a member in the Haganah groups and he claimed that he found the dress in one of the abandoned Arab houses during the Nakbah of 1948.

I started wondering: why would a bride leave behind a dress that she spent years embroidering? Was her fiancé a fighter then a martyr, that’s why she abandoned the dress, which became a burden of past memories, to run to a shelter? Or perhaps she was in her home then killed by the man who stole the dress? In all cases, the wedding never took place…
I reconstructed the details of dresses from several depopulated villages using balls of yarn. I replaced each stitch with a whole new ball that was never used to embroider any piece… Dresses that were not embroidered, broken weddings, unperformed songs, unbuilt homes, unborn children.

The balls of yarn are aligned like gravestones, like bags of corpses after a disaster, like abandoned beehives, like dried wells.
Threads unable to liberate themselves from their balls to say what they have to say…
Broken weddings, witnesses of the possibilities of lives that were amputated in 1948…

Broken Weddings in Al-Dawayima, 2018, 166x166cm, 1296DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base

Broken Weddings in Deir Nakhas, 2018, 332x166 cm, 2592 DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base

Broken Weddings in Ramleh, 2018, 124.5x124.5 cm, 729 DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base

Broken Weddings in Salameh, 2018, 124.5x124.5cm, 729 DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base

Broken Weddings in Lifta, 2018, 124.5x124.5cm, 729 DMC spools mounted on aluminum and wood base