The Family

Painted fiberglass
49 x 52 x 20 cm
Edition of 3/3 + 2AP
Signed and numbered by artist

upon request

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ABOUT Jamal Habroush Al Suwaidi
Born in 1971, Emirati artist Jamal Habroush Al Suwaidi's major concern stems from his relationship with the local and the global environment, and what it comprises from both historical stereotactic notions, and concepts arising from change and prosperity. In both dimensions, the artist works upon the significant idea and its endless innovations,...
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About this artwork

The origins of humanity and the ever-changing structure of the family unit, as narrated in the story of Adam and Eve, lie at the heart of an intriguing work by the Emirati artist Jamal HABROUSH AL SUWAIDI.

Titled ‘THE FAMILY’ and created in painted fibreglass, the work takes the form of a boat, comprising three, separate strands, each depicting a member of the family, inspired by calligraphic letters and given its own, unique colour. The way in which the strands are positioned in relation to each other reminds us that a family is made up of individuals, each with their own character and part to play, and who together form part of a complex whole as they make their journey through life.

AL SUWAIDI chooses the shade of red to represent the mother of the family – a colour often associated with warmth and love. Significantly, the red line is positioned in the background rather than at the forefront but remains a highly visible, reassuring presence. The child of the family, meanwhile, is painted in a fresh, dynamic yellow, immediately giving the line a suitably energetic look. The letter’s upward stance reinforces the concept of movement and motion, reminding us that the younger members of a family unit remain at the start of their journey.

To depict the father, the artist selects the colour blue and opts to position the strand in a horizontal manner, highlighting the fact that the head of the family is tasked with providing a supportive and protective base for the others. The azure-like hue also recalls AL SUWAIDI’s sailing boat allegory, with the father at the helm, steering the family through life’s ups and downs, from choppy waters to calm seas. 

His use of the sailing boat as an analogy when creating ‘THE FAMILY’, which forms part of a series of five works, also displays the artist’s well-documented tendency to draw on the UAE’s heritage and natural environment in his work. “Fishing boats and trips out to sea were an integral part of the everyday life I witnessed as a child and experienced first-hand with members of my family,” he explained.

‘THE FAMILY’ is a multi-layered piece of work in more ways than one. Its dynamic, familial strands remind us that while we may have common roots and a lasting closeness to other family members, no unit remains at a standstill. The structure will inevitably evolve, with each member moving into a different role, from child to parent and parent to grandparent, as we continue on our journey through life.

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