The Riboville Boutique Hotel Presents ‘Beneath My Skin’: a solo exhibition by Fatima Tayob Moosa

“Our skin encompasses the ability to tell deeply rooted narratives, untold myths, stories, systems and modes of understanding. Beneath our flesh lies an internal landscape, a place where light refracts, adapts and dances in relation to our external environment. These elements dictate and determine our inner well-being and reaction to the external world and ultimately our correlation to the individuals placed within it. Similar to a map, our internal landscape should never be regarded as a reflection of the external world but should be acknowledged as a system and site of internal processing- a channel that dictates patterns of internal language and systems of healing, contemplation and learning. Beneath our flesh, we are deeply influenced by natural and man-created forces. Our internal bodies possess the ability to mould systems of understanding, we process information which then encompasses our well-being and ultimately our higher selves. These processes inform our relation to one another in a profound silent manner.”

The above paragraph defines a deeply seated structure of understanding for experimental and multi-disciplinary artist Fatima Tayob Moosa.  ‘Beneath My Skin’ is an introspective solo body of work by Moosa which will open at the Riboville Boutique Hotel, Midrand, on Saturday, 1 May. The body of work relays Moosa’s experiences and reflections from the COVID 19 pandemic, which forced the artist to interact with various materials in a profound and progressive manner. Moosa examined and compared her internal reactions and studio processings to her external environment and stimuli into a system of understanding and process-driven production. The intimate collection portrays her ability to extend her practice beyond a period of isolation and refinement, taking her internal reflections and observations from the metaphysical to the physical.

“The past year has been one of the most impactful [years] I’ve experienced; it has been a time of deep reflection, going deep within and holding up a mirror to every part of my being – even when I didn’t want to. There have been times [where] I’ve questioned everything about me, the person I am [and] scanning with a magnifying glass to points of exhaustion and break down. Through this intense questioning, I found myself turning to my faith, which felt like the only sure thing in a world where I couldn’t tell which way is up. The only way to describe the intensity of enduring inner turmoil and at the same time discovering peace and patience during that endurance is the intensity of heat and how it had the ability to transform my being,” Moosa shares.

“These works are a reflection of my experience, which has also prompted further exploration into the process of change through heat. I have used heat to melt and transform beeswax and fabric to express my emotions and state of being. Exploring how these materials respond to heat and go through various forms during melting and cooling has allowed me to find a voice and outlet for my thoughts and feelings. It is only through some sort of pressure and intensity that our spiritual hearts can evolve and in some way be purified, so that the landscapes of our being can renew and grow back richer, similar to the way natural veld fires clean the earth to allow for new growth. As a Muslim, this type of endurance through any difficult situation is called ‘Sabr’, the perseverance of the soul towards a form of purification,” Moosa adds.

Through the use of diversified materials such as oils, fabrics, pigments, beeswax and man-made substrates, Moosa portrays a myriad of layered narratives – compositional understandings and reflections which invite interaction and contemplation from the viewer. Her burning, melting and heating integration processes utilized on her tactile surfaces act as a metaphor for how experiences alter our being through endurance and patience, leading to a place of self-awareness and understanding.

Through the endurance of heat and Sabr, the spiritual heart can evolve and transform towards deeper levels of purified awareness. It is through these philosophies and processes that Fatima displays an infinite understanding of materiality and an aptitude to create an interactive experience between the art viewer and the art object.

Visit the Riboville Boutique Hotel based in Waterfall Equestarian Estate, Midrand from 1 May to 30 May to view ‘Beneath My Skin’ and follow Fatima on IG.

Between 10 and 5