Small Fragments

SAIC / 2018
Wood, vellum, thread, ink, paper, fabric, found objects.

Small Fragments is a deconstructed artist book (of sorts) as a first approach to collecting memories, stories and objects relating to the women in my family, particularly, my grandmother.

My personal practice began here, after stumbling upon the Husseini family tree, dating back to the 1400s, I was excited but then quickly frustrated by the fact that women’s names were omitted from the document. As a way to commemrate these women, I went through a thorough research of physical and digital archives in the USA and Palestine, to find none about my maternal ancestry. Instead, I started by collecting and searching through any found objects, family heirlooms, photographs and footage of my family to reconstruct an abstract image or narrative, beginning with my paternal grandmother.

In this piece, I address my grandmother – writing her a poem in a form of a letter, recollecting moments with her, things that remind me of her, and referencing objects that I still have of her as tribute. The letter comprises of a translucent vellum sheet with the printed poem, overlayed ontop of faint copies of the family tree, and held together by embroidered thread – a reference of the traditional Palestinian craft, often considered women’s work – as an attempt to weave her into the history in which she is forgotten.