50 Gold Al Balad is the participatory art installation for Art in the Park Festival 2017. It celebrates Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday through its migration history and the aesthetics of Islamic arts. The Arabic word, Al Balad, usually meaning homeland or a nation, is cited as ‘the City’ in Quran, a free place where one’s compassion and patience dissolve life struggles together.
50 Gold Al Balad invokes a sacred space for the audience to be engaged with a symbolic gesture of building homes by marking up a certain part of the city and weaving it with golden thread on the map of Milton Keynes. Through this act of pseudo-construction of the interlaced structure with diverse woven textures, the participants had the opportunity to consider themselves part of the organic structure of the city as well as to recall the memories of moving and settling in New Town. To create a safe and sacred atmosphere, the geometric dome inspired by Islamic patterns was suspended, hovering over the weaving pad on the ground level.
Collaboration with Kirsti Davies, commissioned by Milton Keynes Islamic Arts Heritage and Culture (MKIAC), funded by Arts Council England.