Beirut-Based Artist Rayyane Tabet’s First Major Solo Exhibition In The UK Is On View Now

BY Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh / Nov 26 2019 / 11:13 AM

The powerful works present fleeting moments in time and place

Beirut-Based Artist Rayyane Tabet’s First Major Solo Exhibition In The UK Is On View Now
Photography by Benjamin Westoby. Courtesy the artist and Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art
Rayyane Tabet. Colosse Aux Pieds d’Argile. 2015. 16 marble and sandstone columns, 19 marble and sandstone bases, 292 concrete cylinders

Until 14 December, London-based Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art is home to an exhibition entitled Encounters by Lebanon-born artist Rayyane Tabet, marking his first major solo exhibition in the UK. For the first time, 8 works created in the past 13 years have been showcased together.

“An encounter moves something from the first person to the third person,” says Tabet. “It starts from a place that is very private and precise - an encounter that is ‘I’ - to a moment that, through a transfer, by way of an object or a sculpture, becomes ‘you’.”


Rayyane Tabet. Installation view of Steel Rings.  2013. 28 of 1,213 rolled-steel rings engraved with location details along the Trans-Arabian Pipeline

Photography by Benjamin Westoby. Courtesy the artist and Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art

Upon entrance visitors will find The Sea Hates A Coward (2015), comprising wooden oars over four metres long that are suspended by a rope and two pulleys.

The oars once belonged to a boat that was rented by Taber’s father in 1987 during the Lebanese Civil War. It served the purpose of rowing his family to Cyprus in search of safety.


Rayyane Tabet. The Sea Hates a Coward. 2015. Wooden oars, rope, pulley

Photography by Benjamin Westoby. Courtesy the artist and Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art

Also of note is Steel Rings (2013) made of 28 rolled steel rings, each one engraved with location details; distance in kilometres, a longitude and latitude of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline. Built in 1947 and extending from Qaisumah in Saudi Arabia to Sidon in Lebanon, it was once the largest oil pipeline in the world.

Other works on show during the exhibition include Three Logos (2013), made of powder-coated steel, A Short History of Lebanon (2018) made of cedar wood and six modified books, How To Play Beirut (2009), Colosse Aux Pieds d’Argile (2015) and more. 

Rayyane Tabet: Encounters is on show until 14 December 2019 at Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London