Emirates NBD and Brownbook have organised a photography exhibition titled "Supplication", showcasing images by Katarina Premfors. Her work, themed under the words ‘To humbly ask for’, is a selection of photographs depicting sensitive issues and all focused on Ramadan.
Premfors explains that the idea behind Supplication came from the definition of the word itself. ‘A humble request is a bit like thanksgiving in reverse,’ she says. ‘Inside we remember to be thankful for everything we have, but at the same time there is also a tacit humble request for our good fortune to continue. This seems fitting for Ramadan, which, in a way, is a kind of prolonged act of devotion.’
Her images are rich and deeply textured, veering away from sentimentality and imbued with a simplicity and honesty whilst remaining direct and to the point. ‘I grew up in Turkey, Pakistan and the UAE and particular memories of Ramadan are lodged in my memory,’ she explains. ‘The most striking is the beating of drums to wake everyone up before dawn. In Turkey they were loud drums, the whole city shook and my family and I were shaken to life every morning during Ramadan. Here in the UAE the sound was a bit softer. As I lived on the beach here for most of my 19 years the sound of the drums was mixed with the sounds of the sea and it was one man with a drum tied to his handlebars who cycled around.’
The photos in Supplication were not shot as one project but the artist says she hopes there is a sense of a moment shared or sometimes observed, a moment of inward reflection, or perhaps a sense of belonging to the collection.
The exhibition can be viewed between 10am to 4pm weekdays only until August 16, 2012 at the Empty Quarter Gallery in DIFC.