Unpacking Sara Abdu’s earlier practice reveals an interplay between form and language, between our inner and outer worlds, the conscious and the unconscious, the material and the immaterial. The text, or language, married into the form in a type of semiosis as the language began to inform the process of the work. We can see this in A Kingdom Where No One Dies, 2019, in which Abdu not only pushes her landscape forms into more sculptural modes – effecting a more phenomenological relation with the body – but informs the sculpture through the language itself. Through a process of translation, the language – a poetic verse – is first spoken, recorded, and its digital sonic forms are then cast in sand sculptures that submerge and rise from the floor of the space. This interplay between form and language in A Kingdom Where No One Dies reduces the spoken language to the rational, scientific building block of a soundwave, gesturing that it too could somehow have a transcendental effect.
In To See the Infinite Within Me (2022) she uses the same method of translating poetry into a solid structure, only this time to create a meditative interactive piece that invites the viewer to explore some of the ways we navigate our inner territories, our inner reality. The work is inspired by the structure of labyrinth. An ancient tool used to draw people into meditation. Highly dependent on the orientation of the user, the work offers a space for contemplation and experiencing the passage of time.