As they age, their bodies are increasingly concealed, so that the most mature member of the group is completely covered head to foot. Calligraphic script, written in henna, marks the surfaces of everything in the work—the faces of the younger women, the cloth worn by all four figures, and the fabric draped over the wall and floor. Essaydi, a Moroccan-born, Paris-trained artist, created the Converging Territories series as a means of examining the culture in which she grew up from the Western position she now occupies Essaydi currently lives in the U.
She left to attend high school in Paris at She married after returning to Morocco and moved to Essaydi converging Arabia where she had two children and divorced.
She has stated that her work is autobiographical  and that she was inspired by the differences she perceived in women's lives in the United States versus in Morocco, in terms of freedom and identity.
She also presents the resistance of stereotypes maintained by Western and Eastern societies. She stepped outside the permissible behavioral space, as defined by Moroccan culture.
Yet, by the same token, the male art of calligraphy has been brought into a world of female experience from which it has traditionally been excluded. Henna, however, is extremely symbolic, especially to Moroccan women. It is an association with familial celebrations of a young girl reaching puberty and transitioning into a mature woman.
The use of henna in her work creates a silent atmosphere of the women "speaking" to each other through a quality of femininity.
It is predominantly a painting process where women who are discouraged to work outside the home find a profitable work in applying a tattoo-like material.Artist Reception: Friday, November 16, , - PM. Houston City Book: "Devil May Care" by Chris Becker Open.
|See a Problem?||The photographs feature Arab women as odalisques, and objects representative of the harem, as they confront the veil of a Western perspective of Orientalism.|
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|Lalla Essaydi Converging Territories Limited Edition Photograph - Aperture Foundation||Essaydi also weaves together a rich roster of culturally embedded materials and practices—including the odalisque form, Arabic calligraphy, henna, textiles, and bullets—to illuminate the narratives that have been associated with Muslim women throughout time and across cultures.|
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Essaydi grew up in Morocco and now lives in USA where she received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/TUFTS University in May Essaydi's work is represented by Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston and Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York City.
Converging Territories. by Lalla Essaydi Publisher's Description According to Islamic tradition, men dominate the public sphere and women are expected to remain indoors at most times. In photographer Lalla Essaydi’s native Morocco this confinement has been further used as a punishment for those who transgress the rules of gender conduct.
Lalla Essaydi: Converging Territories Jan 6 - Feb 25, 1 / 4. Press. Artist Lalla Essaydi Is Diverting the ‘Voyeuristic Gaze’ of Arab Women at Her First Show in Singapore Artnet News, November 20, A conversation with Lalla Essaydi about “Bullets,” the Arab Spring and violence against women Virginie Kippelen, ArtsATL, February.
Converging Territories, Lalla Essaydi (powerHouse Books, Brooklyn), PUBLIC COLLECTIONS. 21C Museum, Louisville, Kentucky The Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, North Carolina The Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA The Arab Museum of Modern Art, Qatar.
Essaydi, a Moroccan-born, Paris-trained artist, created the Converging Territories series as a means of examining the culture in which she grew up from the Western position she now occupies (Essaydi currently lives in the U.S.).
Although women in present-day Morocco are not compelled to wear a veil, images like this one speak to the physical as.