Oil on canvas
40.5 x 35.5 cm
Informed by a news story about the burgeoning Syrian undergarment industry, Syrian Dream broaches the dichotomies of the expected roles of women within Islamic culture. Within the Quran, a healthy approach to sex is encouraged and mutual satisfaction of married partners is held sacrosanct. Donning sexy lingerie beneath chadors is an increasing practice, and in Syria this trend has been further popularised through the sale of high-tech knickers which incorporate elaborate light and sound effects through electronic chips stitched into the lining; some even come with remote control. Through her hilarious rendition of a burka-clad Cyclops eying up a pair of raunchy smalls, Ayari’s shrewd parody re-evaluates the contradictory mores which simultaneously encourage women’s public chastity and private lasciviousness. The Holy Quran pendant around the woman’s neck is a symbol of religious observance, which ironically is one of the key marketing strategies used by Syrian undie-mongers.