About Wafa Lazhari

Visualizing the Unseen

About Wafa Lazhari by Sarah-Lea Langner. Published on 3 July 2022.

 

Wafa Lazhari is a 3D designer and just started her career as a visual artist.

In her previous works, she experiments with the border between reality and unreality. She is in search of visualizing unsolvable questions, memories and emotions and communicating with the audience. 

Can images say more than words?

WHAT I DO IS: I FEEL, I SEE, AND WHEN SOMETHING TOUCHES ME, I TRY TO EXPLORE THE EMOTION AND PORTRAY IT AS I SEE IT.

How can we put what we feel into a form that resonates with the audience? Her main tool is the technique of 3D modeling, which she uses to generate the atmosphere of existing and imaginary spaces to make invisible feelings real.

CLEAR, SCULPTURAL FORMS ARE LIKE TRYING TO PUT FEELING INTO WORDS, WHICH WON‘T WORK, WAFA SAYS.

Sculptural forms are like trying to put feelings into words, which won’t work, Wafa says. She adds effects/irritations/changes and often chooses to blur images or dissolve forms in her work. She doesn’t want to show an image just to showit, but to convey her own view of the world. Thus, she adds visual emotion to her images:

 ROME. FROM MY TRIP TO ROME, I BROUGHT BACK A 360 DEGREE IMAGE AND BLURRED IT UNTIL I FELT MY MEMORY CONNECT WITH THIS REAL IMAGE. WHEN YOU SEE THE PICTURE, YOU SHOULD FEEL THE SOUVENIR.

Wafa tells emotional stories by transforming and creating images, charging them with memories and emotions to show the invisible. The artist wants the audience to perceive their own emotions in her visual representation, or to be able to reflect a new way of looking at their own memories and emotions. One could see in Wafa’s work so far, a diary of experiences, strokes of fate and questions of life. It reflects her feeling of a particular scenery at that moment or a particular period in her life. And while she plays with images of real spaces, she creates a virtual world, emotionally charged. In reality, she sits in her room or at other workplaces. According to Wafa, it is very important to develop a new artwork in a different environment, because the memory of the last project is connected to the place where it was created. In this diary she also reflects on existential questions, such as life after death:

VAGABOND SOUL. VAGABOND SOUL EXPLORES THE FATE OF THE SOUL ONCE IT LEAVES THE BODY. IT IS THE QUESTION THAT HAS BEEN DRIVING ME AROUND, WHAT HAPPENS IN THE AFTERLIFE? WHEN SOMEONE DIES, DOES THE SOUL VAGABOND IN THE UNKNOWN OR JUST DISAPPEAR?

Here, she creates her own mind palace, recreating her idea of the afterlife in virtual space. At the center is a virtual figure whose body parts move across the screen through moving planes.

 

 

 

HER ARCHITECTURAL BACKGROUND

Wafa’s interest in art began with her architectural studies at the National School of Architecture and Urbanism (ENAU) in Tunis. Since her family background had nothing at all to do with art, a new world opened up for her when she began studying architecture. She learned to draw and paint in the very first lectures of her studies. It was a revolution for her as she was inspired by the tools of architecture. The more years she spent at university, the more she discovered about herself. She began to love working with 3D animation, playing with the lights and atmospheres of architectural buildings. Since she graduated last year, she has been searching for her artistic identity. Just as the architect tries to understand what kind of atmosphere the client wants to live in, Wafa now wants to show in her art the memories, emotions and atmospheres that are created with people in architectural spaces.

 

HER ARTISTIC PATH

She just had her first exhibition with the video installation UNDER THE DUST at Gabes Cinema Fen in Tunisia and was selected for the INTERFERENCE program as well as for a short film program called Khatawat / Ciné par’court program, where she starts to discover new techniques from filming to virtual reality tools. She explores working in teams with filmmakers, composers and technicians among others in the position of a director of her own visions and compositions. With these projects, she continues to expand her reflective process: Since few viewers have seen Wafa’s work, it will be very interesting to hear people’s responses and see how her art translates in public spaces. In INTERFERENCE, she will create an installation that outlines the transforming light in the process of photosynthesis. She will produce visually experiences of the invisible magic of the transformation of oxygen.