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Zainab Sumu’s Fibers of Being

"Zainab Sumu’s woven fiber sculptures at Gurari Collections look chaotic — worlds barely held together as their components loop and veer.

"The Cambridge artist, born in Sierra Leone and educated at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, is also creative director and founder of a couture design company, Zainab Sumu Primitive Modern. A handful of garments, at once elegant and cozy, are on view.

"Sumu’s watercolor paintings resemble her scarf designs: sun-kissed tones, abstract patterns with botanical and architectural references. The paintings, like “GNAWA FLEUR,” are deft and warm. But the sculptures — freed of the limitations of clothing but full of references to the body — are packed with fascinating tensions. Sumu takes inspiration from materials and designs she finds on travels in Africa, Europe, and the United States."

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