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Basil Al-Rawi

Born in Kuwait. Lives in: London
University of Westminster

Having worked mainly with the moving image since 2007, I had my first exhibition of still photography during the 2011 PhotoIreland Festival in Dublin. I’m currently working on a series called ‘Façade’ as part of my MA in Photographic Studies at the University of Westminster. This series is a response to the zoned wastelands which malign parts of the Irish landscape following the collapse of the property market. I’m interested in using photography to intervene in the real, incorporating elements of fiction to highlight the illusion that fueled the boom.

Artist photo

Artist Picture

Work of art I would like to make

Proposed title: 'The Conditions for Growth'

If I were chosen as on of the New Sensations, I would like to create a work of art which continues to explore the impact of abandoned housing on the Irish landscape.

At the height of the crash, the rhetoric of the crisis described the massive unsustainable loans taken by developers as ‘toxic’ and the economy as ‘ailing’, in need of medicine to generate the conditions for growth. Numerous commissioned reports have produced maps of Ireland which use coloured dots to represent the so-called 'ghost estates'. To me, the arrangement of these dots on the map gives the appearance of a bacteria proliferating across the country.

I would like to explore this representation of the ghost developments as a bacteria, a literal manifestation of the rhetoric of the crisis. I propose creating a time-lapse video of bacteria growing on a large agar plate to represent the proliferation of these properties. Once the growth has reached an appropriate pattern, I will take a large format image of the final stage of growth.

In the final image, there will be no lines indicating the outline of Ireland or of its counties. However such is the scale of empty developments, the shape of the country can be discerned from the pattern generated by the dots/bacteria colonies. This image will attempt to convey how a country so proud and precious of its land is now defined by the relics of its greed.

My Artworks (6)

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