The authentic has become all too elusive in contemporary times. As a result, representation of what ought to be evident has turned into a pursuit of the impossible. This has effected every aspect of artistic endeavour and has been catered to by the reification of what needs to experienced. At Variant Space we wish to avoid the pitfalls of extraneous abstractions and incongruent representations that permeate throughout the artistic field. The artists at Variant Space are sharing collectively their streams of consciousness through their chosen artistic mode. That is, we are offered to partake in their actual lived experience as opposed to asking them to represent ‘the real’; doing so changes the artistic tone - an essential concept of the musicality of Art - making it abrupt and, therefore, disingenuous.
At Variant Space Art is defined in the widest possible sense, allowing for different fields of human creativity to be shared within the collective. We are certain that when individuals are given an autonomous space devoid of caricatures, coercive influence, generalisations and stereotypes, the essence of genuine representation will be preserved. Variant Space is a celebratory archive for Muslim women who have suffered under the various broad stroke judgments and proclamations by experts about who they are. Variant Space is not adversarial and cannot be classified as a passive collective, it aims to go beyond simple categorisations that limit the artists and, ultimately, Muslim women from speaking for themselves.
Since the founding of Variant Space - in 2014 by Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al Lail - it has grown to be a powerful medium through which Muslim women can collectively showcase their creative achievements. We are trying to open new avenues and sustain the momentum we have gained over the years. Variant Space was founded on the principle of appreciative collaboration and it continues to extend the offer to all Muslim women who wish to be part of this dynamic archive.
If you’re enthusiastic about the arts and creativity and would like to get involved, or simply want to say hello and tell us what you think about our projects and our artists, we would really love to hear from you, so get in touch.