Fabric, Cement, Slip diped lace
Made for the Radical Love: Female Lust exhibition at the Crypt gallery in London, artists were given poems by female Arab poets from the 8th-12th century CE. In response to a poem by Fadl Ashsha'ira:
"Riding beasts are no joy to ride until they're bridled and mounted.
So pearls are useless unless they're pierced and threaded."
Fald Ashsha'ira was slandered by another poet, accusing her of not being a virgin and stated that he preferred "unpriced pearls"
The form was inspired by a species of sea snail found in my city of San Diego, California. When the tide is low, you can crawl around on the rocks usually covered by the ocean and search for shells or tide pools. If you move the rocks around, you can find the shell of the Astrea Undosa which is like spiral pyramid in shape, and usually caked in sediment from the sea which looks like cement giving it a stony or fossil type feel to the shell. If you let it dry out, some of the sediment cracks off to reveal glimpses of a beautiful pearly shell. Often the shells found are broken or cracked. My answer to both poets in Fald Ashsha'ira situation: A pearl is a pearl, regardless of its state and holds beauty and value in all faces of its appearance. Unearthed from the depths of dark waters, forced, or freed from its captivity -- it has already traveled a great deal to face the judgement of our eyes. The same holds true for the shells that also inspired the piece. Many of them are already broken when they wash a shore, yet are just as beautiful.