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Perfume VesselEmii Alrai
iniva is delighted to launch an edition by artist Emii Alrai to accompany her commission for Future Collect, A Core of Scar, at The Hepworth Wakefield. Perfume Vessel was produced in collaboration with North Lands Creative, a world-leading contemporary glass art studio based in Caithness, Scotland, who facilitated the production of the Future Collect commission.
This blown glass sculptural edition is inspired by ancient glass perfume bottles. Shaped to look like Iraqi dates, the edition echoes themes of archaeology and diasporic experience. Each edition has been fitted to an armature, custom-made by Mark Webster of MW Fabrications. These armatures mimic display modes typically used by archaeological museums. Alrai invites us to consider such devices as instruments of colonial capture.
Proceeds from the sale of this edition will support the development of an artist’s book by Emii Alrai, creating a permanent legacy for both the artist and the Future Collect project.
Future Collect Commission: A Core of Scar (7th April-4th September 2022) Emii Alrai was commissioned by iniva and The Hepworth Wakefield in 2021 as a part of Future Collect, a three-year programme initiated by iniva (the Institute of International Visual Arts) aimed at transforming the future of public art collections across the UK to better reflect our culturally diverse society. A Core of Scar will be acquired for The Hepworth Wakefield’s permanent collection in 2022.
In A Core of Scar, Alrai has created a series of hand-blown glass vessels, evoking ancient funerary urns. The vessels are marked by the scars and seams which emerge during processes of casting and joining. In archaeological artefacts, such scars can hint at the violence of the object’s separation from its homeland – a separation that parallels experiences of migration and diaspora.
About the artist Emii Alrai (b.1993, Blackpool) is an artist based in Leeds. Her practice is informed by inherited nostalgia, geographical identity, and post-colonial museum practices of collecting and displaying objects. Focusing on ancient mythologies from the Middle East alongside personal oral histories of Iraq, she weaves together narratives by forging artefacts and visualising residues of cultural collision. Alrai creates monumentally scaled installations which play on museological displays and dioramas. She draws attention to the clash between the polished aesthetics of imperial museums and the states of ruin which befall archaeological artefacts and their landscapes of excavation.