Fairouz El Tom (she/her)
Fairouz El Tom is a visual artist currently based in Geneva, Switzerland. Sudanese and Swiss in heritage, she grew up in cities across Sudan, India, Nepal, the United States and Switzerland. This fluidity of movement across borders and cultures instilled in her a fascination with human and natural diversity, as well as a questioning of identity construction and contemporary value systems. Although she works primarily in digital photography, her compositions defy disciplinary boundaries. Instead, her work dwells in the slippages between discourses.
El Tom’s process involves the careful layering of macro and micro imagery of elements of the human and the natural world. By exploring themes of identity, multiplicity, opacity, fluidity, and futurity, she creates a new visual language that asks viewers to engage in the act of seeing afresh.
Most recently, El Tom’s work was presented at the 13th edition of Bamako Encounters in Mali. El Tom has been interviewed by Terralingua (2022), and her artwork was featured in Artnet (2023) and showcased in group shows in Glasgow. She holds an MA in International Educational Development from Columbia University and is pursuing an MFA at the Glasgow School of Art.
An ongoing series that explores African landscapes. Each work is composed of a satellite image and macro photographs of human skin and/or irises. The landscapes are from various regions of the continent. The skins and irises belong to individuals from across the racial spectrum who are connected to Africa in different ways.
The landscapes invite us to reflect on representations of Africa. The omission of country names challenges the acceptance and status of fabricated borders. The bodies, which are neither named nor described, encourage us to examine how we respond to diversity. The blurring of boundaries between human and nonhuman invites us to relate to each other and to the world in other ways, ways that are more fluid, organic, entwined.
An ongoing series that traces patterns of movement through routes of cross-cultural encounters. Routes of migration prompted by colonisation, routes taken in response to personal histories, others taken for work and leisure. Routes that illustrate the rhizomic nature of movement and connection. They are also testimonies to individuals who embraced openness and curiosity over fear.
A series of nine works, three of which are shown here, that combines satellite and aerial images of Scottish landscapes with photographs of black, brown and white skin.