Ayan Farah’s output is led by her interest in the provisional and the ephemeral. Though the work she makes is mainly wall based and loosely defined within painting, it stretches over several mediums and often is a result of the application of paint or other substances to various fabrics more frequently found in fashion, clothing, household furnishings and bedding. These fabrics have been effected by chance induced chemical or organic change. Controlled environmental and synthetic forces at play include immersion, dying and sun bleaching and while the work is process based it is also often based on locational narrative.
As with many artists, environment is often a starting point be it the studio using UV sunbeds, vinegar and alcohol on synthetic silk or more increasingly the natural environment. For instance on a camping trip she buried her sleeping bag underground for six months at the foot of the Eldfell volcano in Heimaey, Iceland. The ash stained the material creating a subtle blue abstract painting. More recently at her residency on Eilean Shona, she took ash from a vast forest fire that had destroyed half the vegetation on the island as a colorant for day paintings she created from alcohol, vinegar and sunlight, laying the textiles out on rocks, harnessing the wind and elements in a controlled alchemy.
As with the materials and process jumping from synthetic to organic so the making environment jumps again from the natural landscape to the architectural or man made. This summer the old offices of a historical art dealership are acting as greenhouse and incubator, their elegant old windows providing the light frame and temperature for two commissioned artworks taking the transient shadows of hard architectural form as fleeting structures for organic serendipity.
Ultimately Farah’s interest is in abstraction and non-graspable elements, such as light, that appear in the present but refuse to be pinned down, the shifting state of things. Her physical application process is that of controlling the ingredients of her endeavours and their chance proclamations and repositioning their results by subtle nuances of overlap, seaming, and folds, the work existing between the deliberate and the accidental.
Born in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Ayan Farah graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2006 and most recently from the Royal College of Art in 2012. Since then she has won several residencies including the Eilean Shona residency (Robert Devereux/ Vanessa Branson’s Island), had her first major solo show at Vigo which sold in its entirety to DRAF, exhibited in Xtraction at the Hole Gallery in New York, Alchemy at Dover Arts Club in London, the Contemporary art Society Auction in London, and various art fairs internationally and was featured in the New York Times in the summer. She has just been listed in the 25 Artists to watch list prepared by Seth and Elisa Carmichael and published in Complex Magazine.
UNTITLED Art Fair Opening Hours:
Wednesday, 4 December - 11 am - 7 pm
Thursday, 5 December - 11 am - 7 pm
Friday, 6 December - 11 am - 7 pm
Saturday, 7 December - 11 am - 7 pm
Sunday, 8 December - 11 am - 6 pm