HEATHERMATTHEW
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Al-Mutannabi Street Starts Here | 2016

On March 5th, 2007, a car bomb exploded on Al-Mutanabbi Street, the historic bookselling and literary centre of Baghdad killing more than 30 people.

San Francisco bookseller and poet Beau Beausoleil started a a project responding to this event which has grown to a coalition of more than 500 artists, writers and poets. 

Doorway | 2016

Doorway | 2016

Screenprint on handmade paper. Edition of 6. 38 x 28 cm

Created for Absence & Presence, a printmaking response to the bombing of Al Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad in 2007.

Exhibited in Exeter Library (UK) and Kaleider (UK) 2016. A film of this event can be watched here.

Three images in all are juxtaposed through this layered screen-printing. The doorway, the suns rays and the bomb blast. Lament and hope, absence and presence.

 

Ali's Poem | 2017

Ali's Poem | 2017

Screenprint on handmade banana paper. 32 x 22 cm.

Created for the book al-Mutanabbi Street, a public art project by Modellab.

On March 5, 2017, a group of people gathered in Yarranabbe Park, Sydney for a poetry and literature reading. Poet Ali Aldahesh read from his own poetry and his voice was recorded and reconfigured as a sound line image overlaid upon an image of a brick wall.

 Pages from the ebook   al-Mutanabbi Street   by Modelab  From the book:  "In collaboration with artists Catherine Cartwright, Heather Matthew and poet Ali Aldahesh, Modelab organized an Arabic poetry and literature reading at Yarranabbe Park, Sydney, where the 320m length of al-Mutanabbi Street were laid out ...  Yarranabbe Park shares dimensions (around 300 meters length) and the proximity to a body of water of al-Mutanabbi Street, which is close to the Tigris River.  With this symbolic gesture, we acknowledged the importance of al-Mutanabbi and Arabic literature in general, but also of diversity, tolerance and the free exchange of ideas.  As Beausoleil wrote,“we recognize that this distant landscape is our own, and we must walk through it”.

Pages from the ebook al-Mutanabbi Street by Modelab

From the book:

"In collaboration with artists Catherine Cartwright, Heather Matthew and poet Ali Aldahesh, Modelab organized an Arabic poetry and literature reading at Yarranabbe Park, Sydney, where the 320m length of al-Mutanabbi Street were laid out ...

Yarranabbe Park shares dimensions (around 300 meters length) and the proximity to a body of water of al-Mutanabbi Street, which is close to the Tigris River.

With this symbolic gesture, we acknowledged the importance of al-Mutanabbi and Arabic literature in general, but also of diversity, tolerance and the free exchange of ideas.

As Beausoleil wrote,“we recognize that this distant landscape is our own, and we must walk through it”.