Dima Karout – artist and curator in residence of the art studio in Room to Breathe

Dima Karout is our first artist in residence for our Room to Breathe exhibition and will be curator in residence of the art studio in the exhibition. In this blog post, Dima introduces her artistic practice and approach and explains how our artist-in-residence series will work.


Dima Karout (centre)

I’m a visual artist and art educator. I work with mixed media to create images, texts and installations. In my research, artwork and classes, I advocate for socially engaged art.

My latest projects investigate the evolution of identity beyond borders, trace moments of internal and external conflicts and explore the relationship between people and places.

My work is a reflection of the human experience of migration and deals with visible and invisible boundaries, exile and the loss of home. It also sheds light on the greatness of the human soul and its invincible force to survive.

I grew up in Damascus, Syria. After finishing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in visual communication at the Fine Arts University of Damascus, I started an international journey. I have a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in contemporary art from Paris VIII University, France and a certificate in creative writing from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. In the past 15 years, I’ve exhibited work in Damascus, Leipzig, Paris, Montreal and London. I’ve lived and worked on different continents and discovered many cultures while developing experience in curating art exhibitions, organising cultural events, designing educational art programmes and teaching.

Today, I live and work in London. I am more and more interested in designing participatory installations and art workshops where people from different backgrounds can touch their creative side, reflect on current issues, express themselves and connect with others.

I am working with the Migration Museum throughout the run of their upcoming Room to Breathe exhibition as their artist and curator in residence.

For the first time, the Migration Museum is creating a residency programme for migrant artists. After launching an open call and reviewing the applications, we have invited a different artist each month to take up residency in the the art studio space that we have created as part of the exhibition. Each artist will be encouraged to rearrange the studio and make it their own. The artists will present their previous work and create new work in the studio.

I will be the first artist in residence (from 1 November until 2 December 2018) and will work with all of the invited artists who will subsequently take up residence during the rest of the exhibition run to create a creative programme, develop participatory and educational aspects of the art studio space, arrange meet-the-artist sessions, and curate a final group exhibition showcasing works created by all of our artists in residence during the course of the exhibition. More details about the invited artists-in-residence during the course of the exhibition will be published on the Migration Museum website soon.

During my residency, I wish to work on a new installation artwork: We Are Made of People and Places. This new work will reflect on personal identity and our human journey. If you wish to find out more about my previous work or new work in progress, come and have a conversation with me or participate in one of my workshops. I will be happy to welcome you into my ‘Room to Breathe’ during the month of November and share my passion for art with you.

Dima Karout will be artist in residence from 1 November–2 December 2018. During her residency, she will host two hands-on educational workshops:

Fingerprints – Woodcut / Linocut Print Workshop on Saturday November 10, 11am–3pm

Connect the Dots – Acrylic Painting Workshop on Saturday November 24, 11am–3pm

Dima will be also hosting free weekly Meet-the-Artist sessions throughout her residency every Sunday in November from 3pm–4pm, during which visitors will have the chance to ask a question, answer one, print a bridge and leave a trace in her art studio. See the Facebook event pages for more information:

Sunday 4 November, 3pm–4pm
Sunday 11 November, 3pm–4pm
Sunday 18 November, 3pm–4pm
Sunday 25 November, 3pm–4pm

Room to Breathe opens to the public at the Migration Museum at The Workshop on Thursday 1 November 2018 at 12pm. It will be open Thursdays 12pm–8pm and Fridays–Sundays 12pm–6pm. For more information, please visit the Room to Breathe exhibition page.

www.DimaKarout.com