Gazing – Fatima Albudoor


Fatima Albudoor, Gazing (detail), 2017. Cyanotype print on cotton fabric, variable dimensions. Commissioned by DUCTAC.

Abdullah Al Saadi’s ‘Camar Cande’s Journey’ (2010–2011) is the main source of inspiration; a body of work about a journey Al Saadi took through the north of the UAE and Oman with two companions – his dog and a donkey named Camar Cande. The trek is documented in the form of photographs, videos and watercolor paintings.

Taking a similar approach, my artwork 'Untitled', 2017 maps out my own journey as I explore my city – Dubai. My trek through Dubai is an observational meditation, using daily rituals to guide the way. Using documentation in the form of iPhone photographs and journal writings, my aim is to access the perspective of the average 20-something Emirati living in Dubai. 

After documenting in this way, my photographs have been translated into cyanotype prints on cotton fabric where the photographs are converted into negatives in order to expose them onto the fabric. It is a tense contradiction to shoot digital and print in a dark-room process, but this contradiction is what makes the journey tangible. It starts on land and ends in the dark-room studio. It’s a performative experience that has been through many layers of conversion before it reaches the viewer. Like Al Saadi, my trek is documented through photos, but contrary to his work, the photographs aren’t the final documents, rather, they are just the beginning of my journey.