Afterfeather: Poplar Tree

Sukaina Kubba


About the edition

This limited-edition laser etching has been produced as part of a pair by artist Sukaina Kubba and DCA Print Studio to coincide with Turn Me Into a Flower; the first major show in a UK institution from the Toronto-based artist.  The exhibition debuts a new body of work created during a production residency with DCA Print Studio.

Kubba is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is strongly rooted in material and cultural research, storytelling, and drawing connections. The artist works with industrial and packaging materials, and explores traveling objects, textiles and vehicles as carriers of cross-cultural histories. Her practice spans the mediums of drawing, painting, printmaking, fibres, audio, video and installation, and interrogates narratives of cultural and material assimilation and appropriation.

The artist’s recent research into Persian rugs encountered through family and domestic encounters, fictional stories and collections seeks to transmit narratives of their travel, trade and acquisition into collections. Her work invokes the history of these rugs: their origins, extraction, manufacture, packaging and trade, and deployment of their textures and visual properties.

As with the other commissioned works in Turn Me Into a Flower, this black laser etching is based on a tracing Kubba drew of a document at the Stoddard-Templeton Design archive at the University of Glasgow. Their archive drawers house Victorian era tracings of Persian and other ‘Oriental’ rugs made by the designers at the Stoddard-Templeton factory. The archives mark a historic moment in the colonial appropriation of traditional crafts from British colonies into mechanised manufacture in Scotland.

The drawing depicts Iranian flora and fauna (such as a poplar trees) and common rug motifs such as the medallion. By etching almost to the full depth of the dark black Somerset paper, the images visually alternate between a velvety and a lace-like texture, harking back to the textiles imitated by the Stoddard-Templeton designers.

This pair of prints mark the culmination of the first print production residency collaboration between DCA Print Studio and DCA Exhibitions.

Editioned by Claire McVinnie

Related Work

Part of a pair, this print can be bought individually or as a set:

Year 2024
Edition of 30
Media Laser Etching on Somerset Velvet 300gsm black paper
Dimensions Image Size: 28.5 x 17.8cm
Paper Size: 37.5 x 27.5cm 
Signature Signed and numbered by artist verso

About Sukaina Kubba

Sukaina Kubba is an Iraqi-born, Toronto-based artist who explores narratives of cultural and material assimilation, and appropriation. She was in-residence at La Wayaka Current, Atacama Desert, Chile in 2022, and at ISCP, New York in 2022 and 2023. Kubba is currently showing as part of the year-long SPACE Billboard commission at Mercer Union, Toronto, and at GTA24 Triennial at MOCA Toronto.

Kubba’s work has been included in recent exhibitions at the plumb, Toronto (2023); The Next Contemporary, Toronto (2023); Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (2017); Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow (2016); and Glasgow International (2016, 2014). Kubba is a sessional lecturer in Visual Studies at the University of Toronto, and previously served as curator and lecturer at The Glasgow School of Art (2013–2018).

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