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Fathom Gallery press images 29 Sept 2022-3 copy_edited.jpg

While the Coffee Grounds Settle

"While the Coffee Grounds Settle is an exhibition celebrating the diversity of women in the United Arab Emirates through the lens of fluid, inclusive spaces that center cultures of femininity.


Featuring women artists spanning generations and backgrounds, the exhibition examined traditionally feminine spaces as venues for social exchange, as well as for women’s leadership and togetherness. Such spaces foster a sense of community through the construction of common interests and shared values, and help document the evolution of women’s power and narratives throughout time.


This exhibition highlights interior spaces that witness generational initiations directly impacting the authorship of women throughout history. The living room, the Majlis, and other spaces of this kind have their own nuanced cues, codes and hierarchies to maintain structure and clear communication, however, they are almost always colored with humor and allow space for curiosity, new ideas and fresh voices."

Inspired by the curatorial statement, the creative direction of the exhibition visuals was intended to evoke the modern, forward-thinking spirit of these artists, spaces, and the larger UAE, in a way that contrasted an American audience's traditional vision of Middle East culture. This art exhibition was hosted by the UAE Embassy and curated by Dirwaza Curatorial Lab, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

From the idea of fluidity and shared conversation emerged the exhibition icon – a graphic that represents both the settling of matter in liquid and sound waves or ripples. Informed by this abstract concept, the typography, wordmark, and color palette reflect the modern approach the exhibition takes to represent contemporary art from the MENA region. The objective was to attract a younger, culturally-informed US audience to the exhibition, and surprise this audience with visuals that felt familiar yet entirely unexpected.

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