I am creating functional Byzantine jewelry for people to integrate into their daily lives. I want people to appreciate how much this period values beauty, and how much beauty relates to power. Exploring a very different culture from my own allows me to think about the relationship especially between women, power and art. Displays of wealth indirectly allow women a measure of power in Byzantine culture. I am less interested in reproducing and decoding the icons than in attracting people to the beauty of Byzantine culture by exploring background patterns surrounding icons. By introducing people to the Byzantine aesthetics in this way, I hope to contribute to a conversation about this fascinating culture more generally and appeal to a non-specialist audience  My project will speaks indirectly to the issue of women’s increasing influence in the Middle East. To explore the connections between art, women, and power more deeply, I hope to expand my research on female power in societies that restrict women publicly.
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
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 This sculptural piece was inspired by my observation of different animals and the texture of their skin. When I examined the animals’ skin from different perspectives e.g. far, close, under x-ray and lights I saw unusual results. This notion of different images under a variety of conditions inspired me to design pieces using diverse materials. Even though they were mostly simple materials they were the most suitable materials that gave me the result I was looking for. This piece aimed to imprison my model as the dress was literally molded to her body. My main aim in producing this dress was to combine art and fashion. 
       
     
 An Unconventional Ballerina is a sculptural dress consists of three pieces: a top, skirt and a sleeve. Wires create the structure of the skirt and I had to drill these together to make them stable. Then I designed the material to cover the skirt and finally added the Plexiglas piece. The outside structure of the Plexiglas I cut by hand with a band saw and the inside part is also done by hand where I had to drill in circles. Finally, I used the hand band saw to create the inside hole. The top was sewn using simple cotton material and the sleeves were also constructed via Plexiglas. Everything was cut and polished by hand. This piece limited the model’s movement: it was very difficult for her to walk and she could not move her hand. This continued my theme of imprisonment, and my vision for this dress was the image of an unconventional ballerina.