Abrasive (part of the Stain Series)
Ink covered bisque, sanded for 30 minutes
Once spilled, ink is not so easily removed. Words published are not so easily retracted. Stereotypes built not so easily broken. Dark ink soaks deep into the intricate lines that were once so revered. Scrub as we may, the stain remains irremovable and we are left with a community tarnished, any beauty left now sanded away.
Abrasive considers the labour required to remove the violent reputation that haunts the Muslim community - a reputation that is perpetuated not only by terrorists who justify their vile actions with Islam, but also by the media coverage of the religion and its followers. Corresponding to a damaging event like a press conference of the POTUS banning muslims, a terrorist attack, or a mosque being burned down, each tile is sanded for a specific length of time. The work aims to quantify labour while illustrating how that labour can wear down an individual, and eventually an entire community over time.
Toronto-based ceramic artist Habiba El-Sayed received her BFA in Ceramics from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and holds a diploma in Ceramics from Sheridan College. She is currently a resident artist at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Ontario and has shown her work across Canada.