Born in the UK, Tariq Dajani spent his formative years constantly moving between the Middle East and Europe, gaining an understanding and an appreciation of different cultures and traditions. He grew up with a strong interest in art, which subsequently led to a career in photography.
Tariq's solo exhibitions include SAQR in 2011, ASIL, the body of work on the purebred Arabian horse, in Amman in March 2008 and in Dubai in 2009 and the solo feature ‘Wadi Rum from Above’ at Jacaranda Images in November 2009. Additionally his work was shown at The Bahrain National Museum in the exhibition ‘3 Dimensions, 3 Jordanian Artists’ curated by Jacaranda Images in May 2009.
After working for over 20 years in London, Stockholm, Dubai and Amman, Tariq Dajani has developed a distinctive style in his photographic work, with personal projects that tend to focus on themes relating to identity, belonging and environment. He retains a visceral connection to his Arab heritage which appears throughout his work.
Tariq’s work has been exhibited in galleries across Europe and the Middle East. He has won several international photographic awards. Limited edition prints of his photographs are owned by art lovers and collectors worldwide.
This series consists of a rich hand-crafted photogravure prints combined with Arabic writings by poets Mahmoud Darwish and Samih al-Qasim, and mystics Rumi and Gibran, where the poetry adds an evocative dimension to the image.
Dajani uses old family photographs and other material to create poetic stories and ideas that reflect his personal feelings and thoughts, and his constant search for spiritual and earthly identity. The work is dark and evocative, hinting of separation, pain and loss. At the same time, the depth of human emotion displayed in the pictures provides future hope and optimism.
Photogravure print process
(aka intaglio, héliogravure)
Photogravure is widely regarded as the most beautiful, challenging and labour-intensive of the photographic printing processes. While modern technology has improved certain aspects of the process, fine art photogravure remains a method too fine and complex for all but a few photographic printers.
Originating in the mid-1800s, it is an ancient technique where a photographic image is etched or engraved onto a light-sensitive surface on a metal plate by exposure to UV sunlight.
Oil-based inks are then pressed into the etched grooves and gently wiped. The deeper grooves retain more ink than the shallower ones, corresponding to the tonal range of the image. When ready, the inked metal plate is placed on the bed of a traditional printing press and a damp piece of heavy-weight art paper is carefully positioned on top of it. They are then rolled through the press.
The result is a beautifully detailed photographic print with a full tonal range from rich, deep blacks through smooth greys to gentle highlights. Unlike other photographic prints where the image lies on the surface of the paper, with a photogravure print, the image is literally pressed ‘into’ the paper.
The visual look and textural feel of a photogravure print is quite unlike any other photographic print.