Giving her disembodied oculi a sense of agency or personhood, Ayari often animates their appearance with attributes such as eyelashes or clothing; in The Fence, her lash-less eyeball is rendered as naked and vulnerable, imprisoned within a refugee camp. Ayari’s tension between narrative and abstraction is exemplified in this painting as her statement about human rights concerns becomes encoded in a formal approach to composition and markmaking. The simplified geometric patterns created by the central circle, the evil-eye shape, and chain-link fence are inspired in part by Arabic calligraphy as well as traditional Tunisian ceramic painting.

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