Celia Shaheen

Juror's Distinction

← Return to From Afar: 2020 Senior Art Exhibition



My studio practice oscillates at the intersection of archiving and making. I utilize materials across the spectrum of printmaking, papermaking, bookmaking, and textiles to investigate and discuss feminist labor and craft, Lebanese culinary traditions, folklore, (an)archival impulses, and affectionate documents. Making paper, gathering dyestuff, weaving textiles, sewing books, and printing etchings—the ways in which I work are inextricably linked to traditional processes and multi-sensorial rituals.

This work is built upon many intrinsic associations linking textiles with print: as protest, precious, portable, shelter, mapping, and as a catalyst for investigating history and connecting with my familial past. I am interested in emphasizing the tactility and history of materials, researching their implications in order to make thoughtful decisions about how to shape, display, and write about them. During times when I get stuck or hung up on language, speaking through cloth and works on paper offers an alternative venue for communicating and connecting with others.

My work emerges from lines drawn between textures, (text)iles, rituals, and family histories. The ways that objects feel against skin, how they smell, their weight, the material histories they hold, are just as important as the stories my work tells through images or text.




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