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PERSONAL STATEMENT

Tamara S. AlPachachi (originally Iraqi, b. 1978) was raised in Kuwait, Austria, the UK and Bahrain. Her multicultural upbringing and life experiences have meant in some situations especially in the Arabian gulf, she has the perspective of an outsider looking in. 


A conceptual artist, fine art / documentary photographer and writer, her work usually stems from her own experiences, her surroundings and memories. She is drawn to (1) the transient nature of the human experience, and (2) how people relate to their cultural identity and heritage. The vulnerability of emotion, the uniqueness of peoples’ stories and their humanity. 


Archival research, oral histories and sketches (drawing or photographs) form the base of her work. Having built up her technical experience in various media including painting, printmaking, photography and collage over the years, many artworks use a combination of techniques. In her first solo she created sequences on wood using collage, based on the yearly emotional timelines of individuals, revealing the commonalities and differences of these peoples’ lives’. Layering and the use of repetition feature throughout her artwork (esp. photomontages and collages). 


Past conceptual photomontage work she has done, include, ‘In Prayer’ showing 24 sets of hands performing the spiritual act of duaa (intention) in prayer, ‘Surfacing’ the result of paint cracking on a fire-damaged wall, Truth or lies showing abstract surfaces, and a long term abstract-minimalistic fine art photography project on disintegrating walls and surfaces. Tamara sees immense beauty in deteriorating surfaces and values them as being synonymous to life experiences. 


Her recent short series ‘Foug Al Nakhal’ highlights the recent loss of some of the few remaining palm groves in Bahrain using her photography layered in neutral papers as a subdued collage.


She has taken part in multiple community-centered public art projects for AlRiwaq’s annual art showcase, encapsulating the essence of the gentrified area of Adliya through collage. A practicing artist since 2012, she has taken part in a few exhibitions in Bahrain. She had her first solo in December 2018 at the Bahrain Contemporary Arts Society.