There is something truly intriguing about the intimacy of a photograph as it reaches beyond the visual, and captivates us entirely. Often luring us with the hint of what lies outside the frame, as well as within, we find ourselves intimately connected with what the content evokes. As with the work of Marwah Al Mugait, there lies a depth in the artist’s means of expression, often embracing the ability to move its admirers. In initially discovering her renowned ‘Avant Garde Arabia’ series, I found myself instantly seduced by the intricacy of her oeuvres, and eager to discover more of her visions.
Nurtured in Riyadh, Marwah’s photography embodies a deep focus on the human condition. Just as her award winning Mood Diary series offered an intimate documentation of an individual’s battle with bipolar disorder, her latest creations continue to endeavour aims of penetrating into the observers’ consciousness.
As Marwah herself reflects, “art mediums, in my comprehension, are tools that navigate through the human layers of consciousness, tracing their constant attempts of adaptation. As humans, we are unaware of how our connections and absorption of the external collective space mold the internal world in us.”
Unveiling the elusive details many may overlook, she utilises her camera as a means of manifesting the ability of being a spectator, witnessing the intimate, private spaces of her subjects. As further conveyed through her latest oeuvre, Oudah/عودة, Marwah continues to explore the notion of human consciousness, as displayed in her first solo exhibition this year -newly embodying the use of moving pictures. As recorded scenes of an individual floating underwater are used to expose a blurry footage, we witness Marwah’s exploration of internal regression as she conveys the struggle of dealing with both destructive and creative sides.
“Throughout examining motion in videography, I was persistently inquisitive in how the light and darkness along with reflection and transparency can form an alternative reality. It channels our expression, and constructs narratives of the unknown. This body of work unveils a stream of emotions depicting incurable traumatic experiences, unfolding the actual human capacity.” -Marwah
Within this installation, it is the artist’s manner of subtly portraying feelings of overwhelming melancholy that I find enticing, as she merges fluidity and turbulence by means of visually manifesting an internal struggle. During the process, she revisits past events, and traces their present effects, leading to the exploration of the work’s subject in rediscovering and pacifying the “inner child”. In this sense, Marwah’s art delivers a discourse which is both stylistically delicate, yet conceptually poignant, as she employs that the only way for true creation, is through the powerful contact and reconciliation with one’s inner self.
Follow Marwah here on instagram.