Mona Hatoum has always pushed the boundaries of the term “multimedia artist” with her use of metal, lightbulbs, sand, soap, nail clippings and even human hair. And we love her thought-provoking films, sculptures, photos and oversized installations, always anchored in her strong political beliefs, currently on show at the Tate Modern. Influenced by the upheaval of her Middle-Eastern upbringing, her art touches on politics, the Brixton race riots, gender and privacy, often presented as dramatic performance pieces or gargantuan and unusual installations.

We loved observing Hatoum’s intriguing use of materials and textures across the 14-room show; Socle du Monde is a dominating, waist-high black cube covered with iron filings, and Turbulence (black) consists of thousands of glass marbles in different sizes neatly arranged into a large circle – it looks both like a rippling surface of liquid or a large collection of caviar. The sheer scale of her works are striking and her use of colour and light is mastered: Undercurrent is a scarlet mat of woven wires that crosses the room, splaying the attached lightbulbs towards the walls; Homebound is particularly memorable and eerie, it shows an arrangement of furniture and objects attached to one another by wires and bulbs; an electric current causes the bulbs to light up intermittently.

The works and the woman are formidable, lighting up before our eyes; Hatoum had us totally enraptured with this
electrifying show.

Mona Hatoum is showing at Tate Modern 4 May – 21 August 2016.

Text by Hannah Solel