Echoing coral, cells, and the contours of the female body, Ghizlane Sahli stitches sculptural embroideries that curve and arch in shapely forms. The voluptuous works are part of what the Marrakech-based artist terms The Aveoles, a series made from plastic bottle caps interlaced with thread. With a background in architecture, Sahli shares that she “is always concerned by space and volume,” two components that manifest in myriad ways throughout her three-dimensional works.
The salvaged caps nestle into dense patches covered in silk and wool, adding texture and depth to the overall works and referencing the inherent relationship between the individual and the whole. “It is the atom that constitutes the substances. It is the cell whose accumulation creates the matter,” Sahli tells Colossal, noting that she finds the repetition of washing, stitching, and assembling her works meditative and trance-like.
“I also have the feeling that each waste comes from a previous life with its own energy. The final artwork is made with the accumulation of all the energies of the different waste and has its own soul.” This idea of gathering proliferates Sahli’s practice, and she often works in collaboration with women in her community who utilize ancestral embroidery techniques, translating the traditional, localized methods into contemporary contexts with universal themes of preservation and vitality.
Sahli was recently named a winner in The Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge, which will be touring internationally in the coming months. For more of the artist’s textile-based work, visit her site and Instagram.
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