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Beneath My Skin by Fatima Tayob Moosa

 Beneath My Skin by Fatima Tayob Moosa

Beneath My Skin

Skin is not just layers of clothing for our skeletons. It is something we have the responsibility to care for and enrich. Our skin has traveled centuries; it is our inheritance from those whose feet walked the ground before our feet could. It is an exhibit of our past. However, why do we hardly search for the documentary that lies beneath our skin? Why do we not lift the layers to see what rests beneath? Fatima Tayob Moosa places every fragment of these layers that hug our interior in her solo exhibition titled Beneath My Skin. Her exhibition will welcome viewers on the 1st of May 2021. Before we look beneath ourselves, let us hear what lies beneath Moosa’s process of creation.


‘Our skin encompasses the ability to tell deeply rooted narratives untold myths stories systems and modes of understanding. Beneath our flesh lies an internal landscape a place where light refracts adapts and dances in relation to our external environment. These elements dictate and determine our inner well-being and reaction to the external world and ultimately our correlation to the individuals placed within it. Similar to a map our internal landscape should never be regarded as a reflection of the external world but should be acknowledged as a system and site of internal processing- a channel that dictates patterns of internal language and systems of healing contemplation and learning.

Beneath our flesh we are deeply influenced by natural and man created forces. Our internal bodies possess the ability to mold systems of understanding we process information which then encompasses our well-being and ultimately our higher selves. These processes inform our relation to one another in a profound silent manner.’ – Moosa 


The words Moosa articulates that relay how she views our skin is a reflection of her own state of creation during the Pandemic. COVID-19 dragged Moosa into a space where she had to interact with her materials profoundly and progressively.

Therefore, Beneath My Skin is a body of work that she had to sit down with herself for. It was a creative process of introspection and having conversations with every part of herself. In looking beneath, she sat down to examine her internal reactions and studio processing to her external environment and stimuli. This examination was placed into a system of understanding and process-driven production. Furthermore, this males Beneath My Skin a creation that mirrors Moosa’s journey of creating beyond a state of isolation into a state of outpouring. In other words, Moosa places her internal reactions and observations into a body of work during a time that isolated and refined us.


This expressed in her words.

‘The past year has been one of the most impactful I’ve experienced it has been a time of deep reflection going deep within and holding up a mirror to every part of my being even when I didn’t want to. There have been times when I’ve questioned everything about me the person I am scanning myself with a magnifying glass to points of exhaustion and break down. Through this intense questioning I found myself turning to my faith which felt like the only sure thing in a world where I couldn’t tell which way is up. The only way to describe the intensity of enduring inner turmoil and at the same time discovering peace and patience during that endurance is the intensity of heat and how that heat had the ability to transform my being.

These works are a reflection of my experience which has also prompted further exploration into the process of change through heat. I have used heat to melt and transform beeswax and fabric to express my emotions and state of being. Exploring how these materials respond to heat and go through various forms during melting and cooling has allowed me to find a voice and outlet for my thoughts and feelings. It is only through some sort of pressure and intensity that our spiritual hearts can evolve and in some way be purified so that the landscapes of our being can renew and grow back richer similar to the way natural veld fires clean the earth to allow for new growth. As a Muslim this type of endurance through any difficult situation is called Sabr the perseverance of the soul towards a form of purification.’


Moosa’s use of oils, fabrics, pigments, beeswax and man-made substrates lead her down a road to the portrayal of a diversified myriad of layered ambiguous narratives. This amalgamation of voices in the narrative allow the viewer to step into the body of work and converse with it. Her burning melting and heating integration processes that takes place on tactile surfaces are a metaphor. This symbolizes the power human experiences have to mold us into beings of different form. This metamorphosis happens through endurance and patience. In addition, it takes our hands down the lane of self-awareness and understanding.


Through the heat of endurance and Sabr the the spiritual heart can evolve and transform towards deeper levels of purified awareness. Through these philosophies and processing Fatima displays an infinite understanding of materiality and displays an aptitude to create an the interactive experience between the art viewer and the art object which has become the foundation for many as one of the most fundamental aspects of Contemporary Art Practice globally in the last Century.


Visceral/ ?v?s(?)r(?)l/

1.       relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect.

2.       felt deep or as if in the internal organs of the body

3.       not intellectual

4.       dealing with crude or elemental emotions

‘Beneath My Skin’ is open for public viewing 7 days a week entrance is free and all are welcome to attend.

Covid 19 regulations will be adhered to as per government advisory.

Tshedza Mashamba