Emii Alrai is a first generation Iraqi British artist based in Leeds. Emii’s practice is concerned with the themes of identity, particularly between Britain and the Middle East. She is intrigued by the residue which is left by these cultural collisions, which manifest in the western appropriation of cultural objects, artefact and language. Her sculptural practice reconstructs Middle Eastern artefacts found both in British museum collections and personal family history in large-scale installations. Recent exhibitions include House of Teeming Cattle, Two Queens Leicester (2019) and An Ancient Quiver, GLOAM Sheffield (2018).
Sïan Rees Astley (b.1992) is a conceptual artist, based in north Wales. Having graduated in 2015 from the BA Fine Art course in Coleg Menai; Astley has gone on to exhibit her work nationally and internationally, most notably as part of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries.
Mainly working with conventional or everyday materials and objects; they are freed from their properties and associations and returned to their essence. They are chosen for their sensual qualities and the potential to take the abstracted and deconstructed to create sculptural works in the round and wall-based works. Although the predetermined associations and properties of the objects are changed; the memory embedded within the material still holds true.
Transformation and repetition are key processes within the work; material is collated, abstracted and transformed to create something so removed from its initial state that it is unrecognisable, yet its presence undeniably asks you to look again.
Katherine Midgley is an artist and curator who is currently studying for an MScR in Collections and Curating Practices at the University of Edinburgh. She gained a BA in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2014, and works with video, text and performance to explore concepts of history and ways in which dominant narratives can be subverted. She is particularly interested in the space between fact and fiction, and possibilities for uncovering new forms of knowledge through collaborative practices. This is a key reason for her increasing involvement in curatorial projects, which she sees as a way to explore different methods of group-working and sharing knowledge with others. She gained a great deal of experience of collaboration through her recent student placement at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, which is how she came to be nominated for the Making Marks residency.
Faye Al Mansour is an illustrator based in Kuwait. Currently she is majoring in a design field that aids her with creating atmospherically intriguing spaces. Faye has been honing her illustration skills for the past several years; she creates artworks that tell a story. Her specialities are character designing, world building and storytelling. Pop-culture heavily influences Faye’s work, and this is evident in her comic approach to artworks. Faye has created a storybook and is working towards much more in future.
Sarah Ismail Alsayed is a freelance painter and illustrator. Born by the Nile River, Egypt, she grew up in Kuwait and graduated University with a BA in English Language and Literature. Being always passionate about art and fascinated about nature and animals, she never gave up her childhood dream of being a painter and illustrator. In the past few years she has illustrated two published children books and participated in many exhibitions in the region. She has also run workshops with children in Kuwait and Egypt exploring art and nature. Wildlife and innocence are always elements in her detailed oriented illustrations and paintings.
Sheikha Al Habshi is an artist, illustrator and designer based in Kuwait currently studying for her bachelors degree in Interior Architecture. Sheikha’s art is mainly centred around identity and self care as a form of coping in a highly technological age whilst still trying to understand her eastern family and heritage as she develops her own voice in these changing times.
Staneslas is a Sri Lankan dancer and artist born and raised in Kuwait. He is a self-taught freestyle performance artist who believes in expressing via movement. His base is Hip hop but he is versatile and experienced in different styles. He formally started his performance and learning journey when he joined LAPA LOYAC in 2014 where he now works as an Event/Dance associate.
He has also been teaching kids for 2 years now and was also recently certified by CID (International Counsel of Dance).
Since 2014 he has performed and worked with internationally recognised artists, and been a part of lots of projects, most recently being a part of Arabs Got Talent. His biggest achievement was organising the Festival of Arts and Dance for 2 consecutive years, 2017 and 2018, with his team at LAPA LOYAC Kuwait. It’s the first festival of its caliber in the region, and they had internationally renowned artists teaching and performing throughout the 5 days of the festival.
Staneslas is a constant learner and believes firmly that “The Artist is the Art.”