Beginning the journey in my abaya

As an artist I re-mythologize and re-sanctify. I am on a spiritual journey. What inspires me? Being human. Life moves so fast and we are all starving for human experience and relationships. Art is a way to stop an look around, both for the maker and the viewer. I like to raise the question: what does it mean to be human?

For this three-week story, I am joining a tribe, putting myself in a public situation wearing an abaya. I have never worn an abaya.  An abaya is a simple, loose over-garment, a robe-like dress, worn by some women in parts of the Arabian peninsula and North Africa. Traditional abayat are black and may be either a large square of fabric draped from the shoulders or head. The abaya covers the whole body except the head, feet, and hands. It can be worn with a face veil covering all but the eyes.

The abaya I am wearing came from Saudi Arabia and was given to me by my lovely friend Wafaa–who is short–but she was so kind to gift me with a ‘tall-woman’ abaya that belonged to her tall sister. You can see that it has a medium-brown upper layer and is trimmed in lace.

I want to share this experience with you as art of a particular personal experience that evokes a particular sensation and mind-set, a way of looking and being looked at and it will be available to collectors who would like to share the experience at a later date.