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An artwork that looks like black lace, made with 3d filament

Sukaina Kubba

Dates: Sat 27 Apr 11:00 - Sun 4 Aug 2024 18:00

Turn Me Into a Flower

DCA galleries will be open on Mon 15 & Tue 16 July to celebrate Art Fund Museum of the Year 2024.

We're delighted to present the first solo exhibition in a UK institution by Sukaina Kubba.

Sukaina Kubba is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is strongly rooted in material and cultural research, storytelling, and drawing connections. The artist works with industrial and packaging materials, and explores travelling objects, textiles and vehicles as carriers of cross-cultural histories. Her practice spans the mediums of drawing, painting, printmaking, fibres, audio, video and installation, and explores narratives of cultural and material assimilation and appropriation.

For this major new solo exhibition at DCA, Kubba will present existing works alongside new commissions created during a month-long production residency in DCA Print Studio in January 2024. During her residency at DCA, Kubba visited several Scottish collections of carpets and textiles, including the Stoddard-Templeton Design Archive at the University of Glasgow; the National Museum of Scotland; and Morton Young Borland Lace Mill in Ayrshire.

These new works in print will be displayed across Gallery 2, ranging from paper pulp casting, embossing and laser engraving to screen prints made on DCA’s large-format press, one of the biggest in Scotland’s printmaking studios. Working on an ambitious scale and largely in monotone, Kubba has created a number of works to be suspended from the ceiling. They will sit alongside work recently created as part of the artist’s participation in the SPACE billboard commission at Mercer Union, Toronto.

A large artwork delicately recreating a traditional rug in hand-drawn 3D filament

Gallery 1 will house the artist’s series Corners of Your Sky, which stems from a Senneh rug originating from present day Western Iran which Kubba encountered during a 2022 artist residency in the Atacama Desert. She had previously researched and emulated rugs from this region using various methods to trace and retrace their designs, creating ever increasing distance between the original object and its drawn likeness. Corners of Your Sky spans drawings on latex, embroidery on found plastics, and sculptural works produced with a 3D printer pen in coloured and clear filament.

Sukaina Kubba’s recent experimentation in producing work with materials derived from various natural and synthetic processes (latex, rubber, reclaimed plastic and PLA filament) led to rug-like, rolled textile and installation objects. This in turn prompted Kubba to research Persian rugs which she had encountered through family and domestic encounters, fictional stories and collections, seeking to transmit narratives of the travel, trade and acquisition of rugs. Her work seeks to invoke the history of their origins, extraction, manufacture and packaging; and the deployment of their textures and visual properties. Rugs – and textiles in general – more so than many artefacts, are intricately tied to a history of exchange and transport. It is in their nature to be rolled: they are nomadic units of architecture carried on the backs of horses, or in the bellies of shipping vessels, and unfurled to make familiar a home elsewhere. Kubba talks of the rugs that have followed her family and herself to numerous cities: Baghdad, London, Abu Dhabi, Montreal, Dubai, Glasgow and now Toronto. The Iraqi rugs in museum collections have followed a trajectory – from East to West – similar to that undertaken by the artist’s own family and the Iraqi diaspora.

A publication will accompany the exhibition, featuring newly commissioned texts by Montreal-based artist Swapnaa Tamhane and Glasgow-based writer Daisy Lafarge.

The artist will return to DCA Print Studio to produce a limited edition to accompany the exhibition.

A two-toned fragment of green textile on a grey background

About the artist

Sukaina Kubba is an Iraqi-born, Toronto-based artist who explores narratives of cultural and material assimilation, and appropriation. She was in-residence at La Wayaka Current, Atacama Desert, Chile in 2022, and at ISCP, New York in 2022 and 2023. Kubba is currently showing as part of the year-long SPACE Billboard commission at Mercer Union, Toronto, and at GTA24 Triennial at MOCA Toronto. Kubba's work has been included in recent exhibitions at the plumb, Toronto (2023); The Next Contemporary, Toronto (2023); Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (2017); Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow (2016); and Glasgow International (2016, 2014). Kubba is a sessional lecturer in Visual Studies at the University of Toronto, and previously served as curator and lecturer at The Glasgow School of Art (2013–2018).

DCA and Sukaina Kubba are grateful to Canada Council for supporting the artist’s Print Studio residency.

Sukaina Kubba is interviewed.

Artist Interview | Sukaina Kubba: Turn Me Into a Flower

Sukaina Kubba: Exhibition Notes

Click here to download the Exhibition Notes for Sukaina Kubba: Turn Me Into a Flower.
303 KB (PDF)

Audio Exhibition Notes

To listen to our Exhibition Notes, please click here

To listen to visual describer Juliana Capes describing Turn Me Into a Flower, please click here.

You can also access the audio Exhibition Notes and audio descriptions on Bloomberg Connects

Exhibition images

Tapestries created by Sukaina Kubba hang in DCA Galleries. There is a beige one, and a bright yellow and orange one.
Photograph by Ruth Clark
Tapestries by Sukaina Kubba hang in DCA Galleries. There is a black one, and intricate tapestries made with a black 3D pen.
Photograph by Ruth Clark
From Sukaina Kubba's exhibition in DCA - a colourful rug is cut into two parts.
Photograph by Ruth Clark
A black, hanging tapestry in DCA Galleries created by Sukaina Kubba. It has floral patterns on it created with a 3D pen.
Photograph by Ruth Clark
An intricate image of a leaf created by Sukaina Kubba. It has red vines and flowers on it.
Photograph by Sukaina Kubba
A pink tapestry and a yellow tapestry hang in DCA Galleries.
Photograph by Ruth Clark

Gallery Walkthrough | Sukaina Kubba: Turn Me Into a Flower

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