Throughout April, Sarah Bahbah has been dropping her newest art photo series ‘Fool Me Twice’ on Instagram. Last Wednesday, limited edition prints of the collection became available on her website. Written, directed and shot by the Palestinian artist, this latest work explores the complex and often tortuous dynamic between an ‘anxious’ partner and an ‘avoidant one’.
‘I don’t feel like a woman who deserves roses right now.’
‘I put on this cute dress and then fell to my knees and cried.’
‘I feel a lot of things right now but none of them is you.’
Are just a few of the thoughts unapologetically typed across each canvas. Sarah Bahbah harnesses the power of the friendly Instagram format of visual information. Layered with liberating thoughts and slices of humour she bravely offers us taboos, desires, tranquility and inner moments for us to share, like and save.
If you are not familiar with the 27 year old’s work you are sure to find beautifully composed photos with heart wrenchingly honest subtitles. That is why we love her. On a meta level, the contrast of these ‘behind the scenes’ subtitles versus the ‘glossy post’ reflects that of Instagram however the platform itself does not inform her practise. Born and raised in Australia, not putting a camera down since the age of 12, she went on to study creative advertising in college. Her aesthetic was birthed through the channel of wanting to use Instagram in a different way whilst meeting her obsession with foreign film.
“Each individual piece tells a story on its own, but when you bring the body of work together, there is a deeper narrative open to interpretation, leaving viewers to draw their own conclusions based on their own experiences”
‘Fool Me Twice’ is about healing and reflection. The strong, cinematically elegant copies are her first collection of 2021. Reminiscent of the bohemian aesthetic movement through her naturally rich textures and moods, her warming harmony of the pre-raphaelite colour palette shot with soft lighting sets an intimate scene. Almost like a rose tinted glasses point of view. All moments captured are moving or ‘mid-moment’ inner instances of either a singular subject or a couple, seldom more. What I adore about Bahbah’s work is how capable the audience becomes at writing the script of the movie in their heads all from a still which is a testament to her skill and vision. Bahbah’s art eases you into the question of am I honest with myself? Sometimes you realise the captions echo those of your own thoughts. She has addressed past traumas in her work and truly speaks to the modern age with her instantly recognisable images, always successfully recreating whole moods. A true, modern storyteller.
All images courtesy of Sarah Bahbah. Copyright © 2021 Sarah Bahbah.
Tabitha is a musician based in London. Lover of the arts, fashion, culture and annoyingly curious of everything.