“What Was That? shines a light on the artist’s matriarchal family history. For multiple generations, the artist’s family has been, in one way or another, immigrants in the countries that they lived in, exactly like the artist. While the language has changed, blurred and the blood has mixed, the sense of not belonging has persisted.”
Yasmeen Nematt Alla is an Egyptian-Canadian artist with a BA in Fine Arts and Business from the the University of Waterloo. Her artistic practice approaches current issues from sculptural and installation perspectives employing text and kinetics. She explores solitary experiences in race, immigration, privilege, and nostalgia while considering how to bridge the gap between what we know and what we wish to understand. Her experience stems from being an immigrant living in the 21st century and the context carried as a dual citizen struggling to survive the current political climate. Entranced by the power of text and its ability to dialogue with the onlooker, she creates sentences that act as portraits of herself and others who share similar circumstances.