Sara Ouhaddou; an artist and designer dedicated to preserving and reinterpreting traditional Moroccan dying craft techniques is taking part in a residency program in Brooklyn, at the International Studio & Curatorial Program, and that in collaboration with Art Jameel and Edge of Arabia. A program that aims to support artists from the Middle East and North Africa, while providing them with platforms in New York City to promote their art, share their work with new audiences, and at times collaborate with locally based artists.
Through her residency in New York City, the French/Moroccan artist is adapting previous explorations in textile and ceramic tile, though glass. A practice that is not all Ouhaddou is known for, as she has also worked at creating brand design and scenography for international big brands as Lancôme, Viktor & Rolf, and PreljocaJ ballet.
In 2011, Sara began researching Islamic geometry; an esthetic that she fell for, and then inspired her to modernize it while keeping its noble essence, a way for her to express her art and at the same time support traditional craft techniques that are at risk of being forgotten in contemporary Moroccan society. A society that is so close to the artist’s heart, that she has been working closely with master craftsmen in South Morocco’s Ourika Valley to use locally sourced natural clay, and create handcrafted a ceramic tile collection that is influenced by the delicate mosaic tradition of Fez with its Spanish and Arabic roots.
During her residency in Brooklyn, aside from ceramic and textile, Sara Ouhaddou aims to explore adaptations of her designs in glass, while partnering with small-scale glass artisans in Brooklyn, in order to develop models she can use on her return to Morocco. An ancient practice that has been lately abandoned in Morocco, and which Ouhaddou hopes; through her work to help revive in collaboration with locally based craftsmen.