Biography

Sara Naim (b. 1987, London) is a Syrian artist who grew up between Dubai and London. She received her MFA in Fine Art Media at The Slade School of Fine Art, London (2014), completed her Bachelors in Photography from London College of Communication (2010) and Art Foundation at Chelsea College of Art (2007). 

 

Naim is primarily concerned with the notion of boundaries as points of connection rather than markers of division. Her practice moves from magnified cellular abstractions of skin to sculptural formations that comment on the nature of time. Interrogating different modes of seeing the invisible, her work explores the tenuous line that divides interiority from exteriority, addressing the question: How can borders be constituted on a macro-level when they do not exist on a cellular scale?  

 

Examining borders in this way, her work envisages a collective space that deconstructs separations - between country and territory, skin and surface, pleasure and pain. Experimenting with the idea of duality, different dimensions and mediums coexist; photography is sculptural and sculptures are painterly.  

 

Using a methodology that is both forensic and performative, she employs her own body to index changing states, forming digital glitches, chemical reactions, and representations of light and time. Furthermore, the edges of her work trace the organic shapes of her subjects of study, whether this is a single cell or a topography. Amplified dead skin cells become landscapes, intended glitches transform and abstract representation. In her work, the corrupt imagery that’s a sign of technological vulnerability is analogous to physical manifestations of emotional vulnerability such as with reddening cheeks, stuttering or goose bumps. Here she asks: how does externalizing what we feel change our experience? How does nostalgia and expectation inform how we see? Does materializing a sensation validate it? 

 

By transgressing the boundaries of perception, Naim’s work challenges restrictive perspectives on separateness, whether individual, social or national. As the minute or micro-cosmic transform into large-scale immersive installations, the invisible and metaphysical becomes material. An oscillation between intimacy and dis-tance occurs, offering a lens on internal, external and unseen spheres.

 

Her solo shows include: Building Blocks, The Third Line, Dubai (2019), Reaction, Parafin Gallery, London (2018); When Heartstrings Collapse, The Third Line, Dubai (2016); Heartstrings, Hayward Concrete, London (2016); When The Lights Went Off We Saw, The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, UAE (2012).

 

Group shows include: The Third Line at Cromwell Place, Cromwell Place, London, UK (2021); There Is Fiction In The Space Between, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2019); Science Fictions, Centre Photographique Rouen, Rouen, France (2019); Tribe: Contemporary Photography from the Art World, Katzen Arts Center, Washington D.C., USA (2018); The Third Image, Biennale des Photographes du Monde Arabe Contemporain (2017); Hindsight, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen (2014), Summer Show 2014, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE, (2014); MFA Show, The Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK (2014); Need you 100%, Display Gallery, London UK (2014); Art Pendeo, The Visual Collective, London, UK (2013); CMYK, Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai, UAE (2013); Au Lait! Quand l’Art Déborde, Lab’Bel Gallery, Jura, France (2012) and various others in London, Dubai, Cologne, Arles, Guernsey and Malaysia. 

 

Naim has taken part in the Beirut Art Residency 2015, Lebanon and in the Cité international des Arts residency, Paris, France. She lives and works between London, UK and Dubai, UAE.

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