Paintings with messy lines of black and grey with splashes of green and red cover the walls of Tara Abdullah’s studio on the top floor of Sulaimaniyah’s old tobacco factory. Kurdish lettering and motifs of femininity and masculinity are prominent. More delicate pencil portraits peek from an alcove in one corner.
Abdullah plugs in a small space heater to ward off the winter chill in the industrial cavern, apologizing about the mess of electrical wires, sound cables and paint cans strewn about, left over from her most recent project.
“It’s my dream place,” she said of her studio, where she has worked for the past 10 years. “Everything I’ve ever made here, it’s all part of a big web that helps create the new artwork I’m trying to do.”