Artists under Lockdown / Huda Al Naqbi
Weaver in the United Arab Emirates.
The Design Edit (TDE): How are you keeping busy in self-isolation?
Huda Al Naqbi (HAN): I use my time at home to pray and recite the Holy Quran. Besides my profession as an artisan, I carry out my duties as a mother and want to pass on craft techniques and family recipes to my daughters.
TDE: Everyone’s pace of life has slowed down considerably; what is the impact of this new rhythm on your work and home life?
HAN: I miss my old routine, visiting family and friends – things used to be much more relaxed. I miss having my children around the dining table on weekends and going to the Bidwa Social Development Centre every day and seeing my fellow artisans, as there is a very sociable environment there. However, working from home means there are less distractions so it’s nice to be able to work faster and in a more focused way during this time.
TDE: Do you have a favourite self-isolation recipe to share with us?
HAN: I really enjoy flatbread sticks on an oven tray, which I brush with olive oil, thyme and cumin, and roast them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 180 C. These breadsticks are a nice fast snack for the kids.
TDE: What is saving your sanity under lockdown?
HAN: My daughters introduced me to Zoom and they manage the account, so we can contact other family members. We also adopted two cats from the local adoption shelter. I also get the chance to read the holy Quran on a daily basis now, and my daughters introduced me to some pilates moves for my wrists and palms. These exercises are great, as I work with my hands and this can be quite tiring. I also have the chance to rearrange our porcelain collection along with moving furniture around in the living room and dining room; it’s important to make our home a satisfying environment now that we’re spending more time here.
TDE: Which online exhibition/gallery viewing room, or other internet offerings have caught your eye?
HAN: I am looking forward to seeing Sharjah Art Foundation spaces going online so I can cover the exhibitions that I have missed. I love to be inspired by other artisans.