asmaa al-issa

asmaa al-issa (Canada/Iraq) Residence: October 2019

asmaa al-issa is currently based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, CA) in 2017, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Studies from the University of Calgary (CA) in 2013. She completed a fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha, Qatar, where she was an instructor and artist in residence in 2018-2019.

My work has, for a long time, heavily interrogated the notion and function of patterns within the contexts of tradition and experience—philosophical, religious, and personal. I have come to understand my art practice as a process of navigating between discursive and non-discursive knowledge, between the spiritual and the practical, and to sense the ways in which they are neither opposite nor separate.

During my residency, I am interested in expanding my knowledge of Shinto traditions and beliefs, focusing especially on people’s relationships with nature and cycles of regeneration. My intention is to engage with the local community and respond to my immediate surroundings as a form of site-specific research, by attuning to patterns within local cultural practice, daily habits, and spiritual traditions.

– website:

1. land of many rivers (burlap)
300 x 270 cm
Burlap, gold thread, glass beads

2. land of many rivers (tulle)
37 cm diameter
Wood embroidery hoop, tulle, gold thread, glass beads

3. monkhol [sieve]
26.5 cm diameter
Wood embroidery hoop, fibreglass screen, gold thread, glass beads

4. qatari date palms
Sizes variable
Silver gelatin prints on FB paper, fibreglass screen, clear thread, table