Aya Kirresh

Aya Kirresh

Born in 1989 in Jerusalem- Occupied Palestine

Lives and works in Jerusalem- Occupied Palestine

Aya Kirresh’s architectural background introduced her to various media from art and material science. She considers the opportunities where she can merge between both at the most engaging. Realizing that media are continuously evolving and progressing and new material is always emerging, Kirresh does not limit herself to any specific medium.

The Palestinian Jerusalemite Architect received her BSc degree in Architectural Engineering from Bir Zeit University in 2013. Kirresh also holds an MA degree in Art and Space from Kingston University London, awarded in 2014. In 2016 she co-founded the Palestinian Brand “Bonds without Borders”.  The artist was nominated for the International Jamel 5 Prize 2017. She is a practicing architect & Lecturer parallel to her art  and research.

Who is your shero and why?

My neighbour, my aunt, my sister, my mother, all Palestinian women, and every single female refugee anywhere in the world. These women are protectors and fighters. They are a line of defense against fear and terror, shielding their children from the horrors of the tent and making homes for them wherever they are. They are Sheroes because of the empowerment their roles have provided during the past years, which are rapidly increasing in political culture, education, society, and other important aspects of the rise of the Arab countries, including Occupied Palestine.

How does the work you are presenting exemplify the theme of ‘sheroes’?

A Shero is a woman that refuses her reality and empowers herself with the surrounding. She builds up her empire that accepts emotions, change, growth and expansion that make her her own hero.

My work is a symbol of the refugees from different sections of the MENA region (Middle East & Africa) that are clustered in a small town in the northwest of Italy called Biella. This work was created as a reflection upon those refugees and myself.  I was completing an art residency there during a time where my hometown, Jerusalem, was suffering from a political tension. It's a response to an occupation, a civil war, and a spring which violates human rights and freedom.

The Skirt, made from a building material that is used to insulate homes and buildings from temperature fluctuations and noise. The wool insulator that is 100% made in Biella from natural wool, represents Biella City where refugees and I took shelter away from physical confrontation with an enemy. The Skirt has stone pockets woven with the wool; a representation of a freedom-fighting tool that expresses its power and importance in history.



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