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In The Studio

Artists under Lockdown / Huda Al Naqbi

Weaver in the United Arab Emirates.

By TDE Editorial Team / 28th April 2020
Huda Al Naqbi, one of the Irthi Bidwa artisans, working on a piece using the Talli technique COURTESY: Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council

Huda Al Naqbi, one of the Irthi Bidwa artisans, working on a piece using the Talli technique
COURTESY: Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council

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.

 Talli ribbon, of the kind that Huda Al Naqbi makes, used in a decorative display. COURTESY: Moez Achour

Talli ribbon, of the kind that Huda Al Naqbi makes, used in a decorative display.
COURTESY: Moez Achour

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.

 Collaboration with Emirati designer Shaikha Bin Dhaher and Spanish designer Adrian Salvador Candela, 'Emirati Talli x Spanish Leather – Fruit Bowl', 2019 COURTESY: Moez Achour

Collaboration with Emirati designer Shaikha Bin Dhaher and Spanish designer Adrian Salvador Candela, ‘Emirati Talli x Spanish Leather – Fruit Bowl’, 2019 (showing the Talli ribbon woven through the leather)
COURTESY: Moez Achour

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.

Talli ribbon, of the kind that Huda Al Naqbi makes, used in a decorative display. COURTESY: Moez Achour

Talli ribbon, of the kind that Huda Al Naqbi makes, used in a decorative display.
COURTESY: Moez Achour

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.

Collaboration with Emirati designer Shaikha Bin Dhaher and Spanish designer Adrian Salvador Candela, 'Emirati Talli x Spanish Leather – Fruit Bowl', 2019 COURTESY: Moez Achour

Collaboration with Emirati designer Shaikha Bin Dhaher and Spanish designer Adrian Salvador Candela, ‘Emirati Talli x Spanish Leather – Fruit Bowl’, 2019 
COURTESY: Moez Achour

Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council – representing both traditional and modern crafts across the MENASEA and Central Asia regions.

The ‘Fruit Bowl’ collection can be viewed on Adorno.

Sharjah Art Foundation – a contemporary art and cultural foundation based in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates,

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