My interest in the interaction with habitants of a city and the spaces available to them still prevails today, which initiated my current ongoing project Sarj, meaning 'saddle'. This project was conceived as a result of the struggles I experience while trying to sketch in public spaces. Not only is sketching in public an excellent observational exercise, but it is also a unique way of generating conversation with total strangers. I find that sketching is essential to my practice, whether I am abroad or in my home country. However, sketching in public comes with its difficulties; sitting on the floor or on dirty surfaces, losing sheets/pens, and peering over obstructed views. The Sarj seat attempts to resolve these issues, while being both a mobile sculptural piece and a functional tool to generate more artwork and dialogue. 


Sarj is essentially the merging of a stool and an easel, light and small enough to carry around with ease, so that it can be carried and placed anywhere to begin drawing/painting. It consists of four essential elements: a seat, a backrest, a drawing backboard, and small storage space for materials. The title stems from the sculpture's nomadic nature, as well as the way it is seated on. 


The future aims of Sarj are to apply it as a visiting installation during various design weeks, where a group of students or art enthusiasts will each be given the Sarj seat in order to travel around the city, documenting their observations and their journeys over the week as they go. An exhibit on the last day of the festival could be held showcasing their outcomes. The idea is to free the teacher and the student of the confines of the classroom when giving a workshop or lesson, and rather turn it into a 'traveling' workshop, allowing the students to escape the illusions and limitations of the classroom, and face realities. This can be further documented through social media, through the use of a hashtag, so that these micro-journeys can also be followed virtually, allowing people to view their city through an additional lens, and encouraging the output of artwork. 


Sarj, Bayan Dahdah ©