The Royal Docks Team have invited world-renowned street-artist Mohammed Ali MBE to bring his art installation ‘Nomad’ to the Factory Project, in North Woolwich for February. He is known for creating art that celebrates themes of immigrant narratives as well as reflections of faith in a modern society. He has created an intimate tent structure, inviting the public to reflect their most personal thoughts and prayers.
Upon entering a calming and peaceful space within the tent, the public are greeted by a host who guides participants through a series of thought-provoking questions about ‘faith’. They are invited to either scribe their prayers or record to camera. These documentations will contribute to a growing collections of prayers that are being collected by the artist. Nomad provides a unique opportunity for us to collectively reflect on our understanding of faith.
Mohammed has painted murals, created installations, and delivered live performances in cities like New York, Johannesburg, Melbourne, and Kuala Lumpur. He and his team at Soul City Arts – an arts organisation he founded – have created a immersive and sacred space. He has described it as a ‘nomadic reflection booth’ to capture their most cherished thoughts and ‘du’as’ (Arabic word for ‘prayers’).
Mohammed says, “We have brought ‘Nomad’ into a London warehouse for a weekend as a space for refuge and an escape from the daily grind. People’s prayers are a very personal and sacred thing, but we bring them into a very visual and public form, providing a fascinating insight into the minds of our communities. When do we ever see what others pray for? Is it a taboo to even ask such a thing?”
The Nomad tent has been hosted in other cities, but now the installation comes to London for the first time. Newham residents will be the first to be part of a unique opportunity to share their prayers and hopes, as well as to see the intimate prayers of others that have been collected previously.
The Nomad tent is on display at the Factory Project on the following dates:
Saturday 24th February between 1-6pm
Sunday 25th February between 12-5pm
Communities from from all backgrounds and faith are encouraged to attend and interact with the installation. Booking is not required, free to attend between times listed.
A Nomad by definition describes one who does not stay in one place for too long, travelling freely at the will of nature.
Being on the move and having no little attachment to the worldly life may seem far from reality for us today. By taking a step into world or the tent of a nomad we give ourselves the opportunity to think like a nomad, breaking free from the constraints of modern society.
The project takes inspiration from the Nomadic lifestyle of simplicity and contemplation, creating a space for reflection and a sanctuary from the bustle of life. Could you live away from technology, no distractions, just you and your thoughts? Moving the installation around and never being in one place reflects the nomadic way of life, opening up to new audiences along the way, and now its time for London.