• Rajaa Ayoubi

Migration // Part 1

This is one of a several blogs on the work progress of the "Migration" section of my project Crisis & Contradiction.

Work In Progress



About The Migration Installation:

My idea is to make an installation of a life size family migrating alone. My references are from the Syrian refugees and immigrants, and the way they migrated to the closest country that borders Syria. In most cases Syrians migrate to Turkey, as it is the safest and most promising country to migrate to. However, these days Turkey's borders are forbidden from being crossed, so Syrians have to go through dangerous pathways and forests to find a way past the borders just to run away from what is way worse than the struggles of migrating; war...


My installation will be a family that consists of a Mother that had lost her husband in the midst of the bombing that had destroyed their only home, her only daughter at the age of fourteen, the youngest son at the age of one in the arms of the daughter, and the middle son at the age of six trying to catch up with the mother and daughter's bigger and faster strides... The mother is carrying a large, heavy sack on her back filled with the belongings of what she could salvage from their destroyed home. They are wearing unmatched winter clothing, and everything they’re wearing is soiled and dusted, because they were only able to find a few random pieces of their clothing from under the ruble...





Making The Small Reference Figures:

First, I will be making miniature model figures of the life size sculptures I will later be making for the installation. These miniature figures will not be as detailed as the life size sculptures. They will serve as a guide to help me understand how I will make them life size. I need to have specific calculations on the proportions of the bodies, and find solutions to the complications that come with making life size sculptures. One of the issues I needed to find a solution to was the difficulty of firing the sculptures in the kilns. A life size sculpture will not fit in a 3 ft tall kiln, so I had to find a way to divide the sculptures into pieces that can later be assembled without there being noticeable divided lines. Making small figures could help me find a way to solve this problem and many other issues...




The Stages of forming the figures:

I started with the main figure; the mother. She is dressed in dark clothing to avoid being noticeable while migrating and she has a scarf wrapped around her face so she doesn't get recognized if guards on the borders catch a glimpse of her while trying to find a way to get through a neighboring country's borders... She is also carrying a big sack on her back filled with her and her children's belongings; what ever she was able to salvage from their destroyed home...

I split the figure into sections that stack on each other, so that when I make the life size sculptures I will have a better visual on how I will divide the sculpture into sections.


The Mother Figure after Bisque Firing:



The Mother Finished:

The mother is still missing her big sack of belongings that should be over her right shoulder and back, hence why her hands are in this upwards and clenched position...




Then I started working on a second figure. This figure is the daughter holding her baby brother in her arms.


The Daughter with Baby Brother:


The Mother and Daughter with Baby:



To be continued...

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