Zainab Alsabba: Reflecting Inner Monologues through Art

Meet the artist who is attached to Arabic letters.

By Sekka

Bahraini artist Zainab Alsabba. Image courtesy of Zainab Alsabba.

Zainab Alsabba is a Bahraini artist who has become known for using art as a visual language to convey her understanding of the concept of our daily thoughts and feelings, and the inner monologues that we have endlessly in our heads.

The artist often creates Arabic typography embroidered on canvas. ‘Threads were never meant for tailoring only,’ Alsaba believes. ‘I consider the needle and thread as a shelter to express a lot of what goes on within me.’ With a background in architecture, the artist also uses a variety of objects such as coat hangers and clock materials in her installations that centre on words.

Lines by Bahraini artist Zainab Alsabba at the Sharjah Art Museum. Image courtesy of Zainab Alsabba

Her latest work, Lines, is composed of black ropes and black and transparent acrylics, and is showing in the UAE’s Sharjah Art Museum. ‘Lines is a free text that reflects the suffering and disappointment of the self, the sudden state of silence, useless speech and the absurdity of writing,‘ explains Alsabba. ‘It is a work of art that simulates the viewers’ interior more than it touches their senses.’

Though Alsabba only began to publicly exhibit her work in 2018, her journey into creating art began much earlier, when she was just a child. ‘I used to draw as most young people do,’ recalls Alsabba, who was born in 1996. ‘I often painted with Arabic letters. I was very attached to them from the beginning, as I found in them a very wide field for art.’

Close up images of Lines by Zainab Alsabba. Images courtesy of Zainab Alsabba.

Today, the artist says, ‘I am still trying to construct a world of words in an attempt to say what others cannot hear.’ As for the future, Alsabba looks forward to increasing her artistic participation in various countries, as well as holding a solo art exhibition.

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