Monday, 15 September 2014

the nomads

As role of assistant curator at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Namkha came across our work whilst discovering contemporary emerging artists. After following our practice with great curiosty, she contacted us along with her partner wishing to represent the essential steps in their wonderful journey of life thus far. 

In true nomadic fashion, they travelled from Qatar with their newborn son to have us express their deep urge and fascination for travel, discovery, adventure and path.

Rafael has always had a fascination with geography (in particular, maps) and discovering and experiencing every inch of this world.  His journey in life thus far has taken him to over 60 different countries, having lived and worked in five continents over the last 13 years.  This "nomadic" lifestyle has resulted in a loss of a traditional national identity and instead, identifying more with different components of the many numerous cultures and traditions that he encounters.

As a result of this transient lifestyle, it is often necessary to dispense with the comfort, security and stability of the current situation and adapt to new cultures, thus reinventing himself in a completely new context.  However, throughout all of these turbulent changes, a common thread now persists, which is his wife and newborn son.  

Rafael's unorthodox nature allows him to think "outside of the box" and to think creatively,and unconventionally when solving problems and implementing solutions, believing that his own artistic education has had a strong influence on him professionally.

Below is our depiction of Rafael's journey as he so beautifully rejects the traditional, sedentary lifestyle that society expects you to conform to.

'To the Ends of the Earth'

'Sky Full of Stars'

For Namkha, the locations visited directly correspond with cardinal steps in her life which have allowed her to grow both intellectually and emotionally.

As a strong believer in protecting and cultivating the creative spirit as much as possible in order to invent (or re-invent) her life whenever the opportunity presents itself, she recreates a home for her family at every destination. To Namkha, creativity is a state of mind and a way of living your life the way you want, much more than the definition given by society according to your professional activity. Feeling as though there was a creative fire within, the book of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves has been a profound inspiration, in which the author describes the necessity for women to find again their ‘creatura’ (creativity) inside themselves: 

"Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of woman. But she is an endangered 
species […]. For though the gifts of wildish nature belong to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilise” us into rigid roles has muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own soul”.

Namkha describes the book to be 'a precious guide to reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature. Once the woman takes back this wild creativity, a parallel is drawn between her and the wolf: “She runs, dances, and howls with them. Full of vitality, creativity, she feels good in her body, energetic soul and life giver. It is up to us to be that woman”.'

Namkha's tattoo depicts an empowered woman/animal metamorphosing. The transformation symbolising the duality between the everyday woman and the ‘Creatura’, expressing the creative force carried throughout her life which gives her the strength to transcend herself.

The beautiful Tibetan name Namkha meaning 'sky full of stars', features in both designs, which constitute of various similar abstract and cartographic elements, but are ultimately unique, as the individuals.

We wish this lovely family all the very best and look forward to hearing about their future adventures!

Rafael and Namkha together

Namkha and little Oscar embracing his creativity!