Leila el Rayes (Australia)

UNSW Galleries

Leila el Rayes’ work celebrates vulnerability by fusing identities and contexts. Working across sculpture, performance, video and text, her practice explores hardship, desire and uncertainty to find moments of meditative intricacy, fragility and beauty. Her material choices are often deeply philosophical. For el Rayes, her use of nails acknowledges their organic origins, repurposed and processed over time into new molecular structures with new man-made uses. The individual nails are harsh but, in el Rayes’ configurations, they become things of integrity, resistance, beauty and contemplation. This duality reflects a powerful truth: suffering and despair can co-exist with, if not be catalysts for, hopeful futures and calls for unity.