Artists Ellie Niblock (UK) and Alaa Tarazbouni (Saudi Arabia) collectively explore the environment both digital and physical through the lens of sculpture and architecture. With Love, From Nowhere: The Places of the Not Yet is an exploration into unknowable places of the not yet, translating an impossible physical experience of visiting the fictional non-places through the combination of drawing, sculpture, 3D scanning, mapping and sound; thus, making the imaginary, intangible spaces comprehendible through the virtual domain.

The artists utilised their multidisciplinary skills to create a digital experience that is accessible to an international audience, embodying online, collective work that demonstrates alternative ways of collaboration, allowing both artists to transcend borders both physically and metaphorically.

The artists relied heavily on social media platforms, video calls and instant messaging to share inspiration and develop the work. The artists also used more traditional modes of communication, by using the postal service; found objects were sent from Saudi Arabia to the UK to create a hybrid, handheld, sculptural objects. They were used as the foundations for the non-place, as they were thoroughly translated in various ways to allow for the comprehension of the non-places.

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This event was produced for you by our super Team of VolunteersLots of shine to:  Samm Anga, Tamara Brown, Katie Yook

►► Music jingle by Samm Anga

What did we learn?

  1. How two artists combine their skills to create a wonderful project.
  2. That working in pair is good to learn new skill sets.
  3. That digital residencies offer freedom of movement while continuing your practice.
  4. All the digital tools that they use to create the project.

Artists’  Project

The website of their collaboration Making Marks: With Love From Nowhere.

Connect ME is a collaborative digital residency programme focused on connecting artists aged 18-30 based in the GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia) and the United Kingdom.

With Love, From Nowhere: The Places of the Not Yet

is a digital experience that through meticulous documentation by means of drawing, sculpting, 3D scanning, mapping and audio recording aims to offer the viewer with as much information as possible in order to discern these Places of the Not Yet. Through this excessive bombardment of absurd information, the viewer’s ability to comprehend the places always treads between hyper-specificity and complete ambiguity.

The artists are interested in exploring these notions of the sublime through the lens of utopic placemaking theory. The same way that utopias in architecture exist best as a theoretical practice, the Place of the Not Yet are never fully manifested into tangible spaces. Rather they only ever exist through the viewer’s interpretations of the various forms of the facsimiles created by both artists as representations of their own interpretations. The novel is referenced in the piece through the names of the non-places: Despina, Zenobia and Pyrrha.

The work is a courtesy of The Arab British Centre and the British Council and mentored by Alfredo Cramerotti.

Discover the three cities

* “Invisible Cities is a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino.

The table below lists the cities in order of appearance, along with their thematics grouping group they belong to.

attributes: feminine_3rd quadrant_3672839 facets_north of Armilla

Reminiscent of Wrabness beach, she fluctuates between being mostly open or half closed. Despina is a place and also a vessel, but aren’t all vessels places? she can take you far away from the desert, but Despina shouldn’t fool you, she is also arid. she’s a border city between two intersecting cities; and appears different to those who arrive by land and by sea. known to those in the know as Despina the perpetually pearl-less oyster of the north.

attributes: feminine_2.76th quadrant_27 facets_adjacent to Hypatia 

Zenobia is the alpha of the non-places, it is pure nirvana is manifested. Often referred to as an archipelago, but that only true when the tides are at ebb. The tidal shift happens when Zenobia crosses Moriana’s equator, twice every third decade. Perpetually frigid and windless, its unforgiving nature is its charm. Zenobia is a memory that can never be recalled.

attributes: non-binary_72nd quadrant_387X2889 facets_South-West of Eudoxia

You can never really arrive at Pyrrha, but when you are there it is unmistakably so. An island in the middle of an estuary, it its peculiarly symmetrical. Visitors describe it as yellow; it fluctuates between the marigold hue and a deep magenta but can appear chartreuse in the moonlight. Stricken by lightning daily, Pyrhha is no place for the faint of heart.

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