In this issue, we take from The Vault creations that capture the theme of numbers, and how numbers connect and disconnect us.

“Hajj is larger than any description,”

— Princess Reem Al Faisal Al Saud, the granddaughter of the late King Faisal is quoted as saying.

Courtesy of Barjeel Art Foundation, we meet Princess Reem and two other great talents who explore multiple themes through their creations. Looking at the impressive ‘Hajj 127’ photograph featured here, perhaps once an image we took for granted. It is a photo of another lifetime, a time when tens of thousands can stand next to each other in one of the holiest sites in Islam. Princess Reem Al Faisal is a photographer, journalist and gallery owner.

“My objective in photographing the Hajj was to take photographs from the angle of humanity. I wanted to project how humanity deals with an intense situation — a dramatic situation,”

— Princess Reem Al Faisal Al Saud

By Ebtisam Abdulaziz, titled “My home, my studio,” 2010. Acrylic on canvas, 70 x 90 x 4 cm.

Trained in mathematics and science, Ebtisam Abdulaziz is an Emirati artist who places her practice within self-devised structures and systems. She creates codes and graphic language to explore issues surrounding her personal identity and culture through installation, performance, and works on paper. Combining the scientific with the arbitrary and at times juxtaposing the two, Abdulaziz forces her viewers to question their assumptions about rules in the natural and formulaic world. To read more about her, click here.

By Yto Barrada, ‘Telephone Books,’ a series from 2010. Silver gelatin print, 2010, 120 x 150 cm.

Once upon a time, telephone books were our lifelines. It would be interesting to dig out old telephone books and notebooks and see what notes, numbers, and other random scribbles were jotted down. An interesting series to discover by Yto Barrada, a photographer and video artist from Morocco whose socially and politically engaged practice examines physical, national, and conceptual boundaries, particularly those between Morocco and Spain. Since the late 1990s, her home city of Tangier has been the focus for her photo and video installations, sculptures, and interventions. To read more about her, click here.

As we explore the art of numbers, it would be an interesting exercise to look around you and see just how much of what you have at home is related to numbers. Perhaps you can then create your own piece of art, inspired by numbers.

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Written by Rym Tina Ghazal