Thursday, 18 February 2016
Interview with Maha Malluh
Interview: Maha Malluh
Maha Malluh (b1959) lives and works in Saudi Arabia and her art is infused with the culture that surrounds her. Her assemblages of discarded items, found in junk shops and flea markets, present objects imbued with cultural meaning and embedded histories. “My inspiration,” she says, “comes from my country, a land of contrasting images and ideas. Good art forces you to pause, to contemplate and think harder about your surroundings.”
Currently one of the 14 artists in the Saatchi Gallery’s first all-women exhibition, Champagne Life, Malluh has covered one of the gallery’s walls with an assortment of burnt aluminium cooking pots, traditionally used throughout the Arab world. The title of the series to which the work belongs – Food for Thought – Al-Muallaqat – makes reference to the pre-Islamic, sixth-century Suspended Odes or Hanging Poems, traditionally hung in Mecca.
Malluh spoke to Studio International about the potency of such objects as transmitters of cultural meaning, her views on gender, and the significance of women-only exhibitions.
Read the interview here