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The 2010 visiting artist at my Grad School was Emirati artist Mohammed Kazem. Mohammed became a good friend and someone I consider one of my most influential mentors. Late one night, amidst one of those influential conversations about art, he mentioned off-handedly that he wanted to bring a group of us to Dubai and find a way to exhibit our work. I interpreted this as to mean he was just going to rent out a space, hang some of our work, and use that as an excuse to bring us to Dubai. Instead, he recommended that we all apply to the Sharjah Art Foundation‘s 29th Annual Exhibition. The exhibit was curated by Layla Abdallah, and eleven of us were accepted.

What I submitted was the culmination of a series of collages that stemmed from a serious problem I was having materially. I was exploring workspaces, specifically cubicles. I had returned to an office I had worked just after the went through major lay-offs (which were also the second such time I myself would have been laid off).