Making Zoetropes The Wheel of Life

Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings

My 2019 R & D project R&D worked with experts to find practical solutions to making a large-scale Zoetrope that would display my fabric design, It involved a collaboration with Oud musician Rihab Bazar, who composed and played the music, and Ruth Montgomery, who gave musical interpretation to what I was trying to express through my ‘Wheel of Life’ experiment with textile printing and moving images, which progress around a beautiful cylindrical structure.

The Wheel of Life R &D by Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings

Proposal for 2020/21

Using the musical notes D, E, A and F. Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings will construct an entire zoetrope using Oud strings so that as the viewer moved the cylinder round, they could simultaneously play their own music on the strings that would form the sides of the cylinder. This idea is represented in the prototype zoetrope that Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings constructed in her R&D and shown in the film. The film also presents the perspex model was constructed through collaboration with Claire Grotefeld, this designed for outdoors.

Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings Artist Statement

I am a midcareer textiles artist who has received awards and commissions in recent years that has seen me stretching my practice beyond conventional screen-printing and dyeing techniques, and I am currently developing my expertise in the use of paper and glass. As a Deaf person, my creative process is primarily driven by what I can see and touch. My inspiration comes from textures and deep vibrant colour schemes, as well as the shape of organic and human-made architectures, often when they appear in juxtaposition. I explore and blend together the various cultural influences that I have in my life, namely as a woman, a Deaf person, and a Sudanese Arab who lives in England. Research plays an important part in my practice, as it helps me work through the initial stages of experimentation that I need to do before getting closer to finished object: such a process has enabled me to make progress in bringing glass and textiles together. I have often been told that these are impossible to marry because of the firing process, but I am determined to build on my small successes to date and create something ground breaking and unique. I believe that with the right materials, technique, and determination, alchemy happens and you can create something the unexpected. I have a deep passion for the arts and the opportunities it can provide for individuals to express their identities, experiences and shared memories. My own journey has been a struggle and I am keen to work alongside other artists in order to highlight the barriers that still exist for Deaf artists, working towards a future where these are no longer are an issue. I always offer the galleries or organisations that I work alongside or exhibit with the chance to be involved in Deaf Awareness workshops, to improve their own practices and to share my experiences so that they may work better with any future Deaf artists that they come across.