Who We Are

STUDIO in the sand

Motif Art Studio is a small space for art creation and art education located in Samara refugee camp, southwest Algeria. The studio was established in 2016 over one full year of making and breaking. It was built almost entirely from reclaimed materials found in Samara Camp. The process of creating such a space in itself was an art experience meant to equip the artist with the skills, knowledge and the energy to experiment, question and open up to unexpected discoveries.

The studio area includes the 6 × 6 meters of the physical studio, a large junkyard and a newly established garden. The studio is built from discarded materials of car parts, broken furnisher and the textile of the old tents. Some parts went into the frame of the studio, other into the insulation and some to make the tools with which the studio itself was built (Yes, I made the tools to build the studio). The Studio got some of its design features from the current Sahrawi tent design with the four doors feature. This is very practical feature in the desert. When the wind blows from any direction, you can just close the door facing that direction and open the opposite.

Throughout the studio construction Mohamed Sleiman attempts to address a number of issues related to the role of art in the community, and how it can contribute to some of the everyday issues and challenges in people’s lives. Art in the Sahrawi community is still largely related to traditional aesthetics. The studio as an experimental sight encourages new art practices beyond traditional aesthetics. We believe that art is not for entertainment; art has a mission to get us to experience things in a way that helps us ask questions, we are different than before those experiences.

Learning through action and interaction is one key issue Mohamed Sleiman tries to address through his art practice. Learning should not be limited to the designated spaces we call “schools”; it could be experienced outside the walls of the classroom. Art could offer experimental activities to feed the creative process of people. This is something Mohamed Sleiman was experiencing through the studio construction. Up to then, he did not have some of the skills required for some of the construction parts, he allowed himself to get closer to the materials he was working with. Eventually he started to slowly familiarize himself with their nature and how to approach them. Another key issues Mohamed got to develop during the studio construction was problem solving. As there was a lot of experimentation, there was a lot of challenges too, he took his time to develop solutions to those problems as he goes. The solutions had to be devised from whatever he could find.

The studio inauguration was in April 2017 after one full year of construction. Upon completion, the studio started to host different art projects and collaborations. The studio provides access to different art materials and tools for the artist and guest artists to create their projects. The studio also provides educational sessions in different art form, from photography, to making, sculpturing and installations as well as a space for meeting and discussion.

Studio build

July 2017

Studio Construction During the summer

August 2018

Performance in the studio.

Explore The World of art

Art tools and materials in Motif Art Studio

Upcoming events

Website under construction!