Sukaina Kubba’s “Turn Me Into A Flower”
              Crystal Bennes
              Textiles are at once commodities, expressers of identity, carriers of stories and of memories. Like photographs, they are images inseparable from their materiality. Sukaina Kubba’s first major UK show centers the artist’s obsessive questioning of how far the recognizable elements of Persian rugs—traditionally based on floral or geometric motifs and textured wool—can reasonably be stretched while maintaining their identity. Crafted from a host of industrially derived materials, using an equally wide range of tools, these works trace paths many degrees removed from their design inspirations. A chance encounter with an Iranian Senneh carpet while on residency in the Atacama Desert in Chile provides one point of departure, prompting Kubba to connect the carpet’s floral pattern to its function in nomadic cultures. “Rugs are gardens in the desert,” Kubba says in the exhibition’s accompanying short film, referencing the way carpets are often the first objects to be set up in a new camp. Kubba spent the entirety of her Atacama residency carefully copying the carpet’s design with pen on tracing paper. The resulting work, Corners of Your Sky, Alula (2022), is as delicate as tissue but speaks of Kubba’s determined persistence to complete the tracing. Hyper-detailed in the lower left corner, …
              Lorna Macintyre’s “Pieces of You Are Here”
              Tom Jeffreys
              Living beings leave traces in the fabric of the world. In “Pieces of You Are Here,” Lorna Macintyre’s solo exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA), some of these traces are material; others can only be imagined. One starting point is a fragment of terracotta tile dating from the Roman occupation of the region. It was found during excavations at Carpow Roman Fort in Abernethy, a few miles upstream from DCA, and brought to the McManus Art Gallery and Museum in Dundee. Strikingly, the tile bears a double indentation of a dog’s paw. Macintyre’s large-scale black-and-white photograph of the object (Paw, 2018) roots the exhibition in the earth, in archaeology and archiving, and in the material presence of a lost living moment. One can only imagine the dog sauntering across the surface of the clay as it was left to dry, not yet fully hardened to the world. What must the dog have felt as her paw pressed gently into the surface? How might the maker have responded? Across photography, printmaking, and sculptural installation, “Pieces of You Are Here” consists of many such moments, where a body touches a world: hands and handles, tools, techniques, and forms of making that stem sometimes …

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