The olive tree is perhaps the most important symbol used by Nabil Anani in various works of drawing, painting, sculpture, and other genres. This is to be expected of an artist who admits his boundless passion for Palestinian landscapes. The olive also stands as a symbol for the loss of land after 1967, alongside the orange tree and its fruit that very often stand for the Nakba of 1948. Anani endows the olive tree with a dominant representative power in numerous paintings. Through this passionate vision, Anani transforms the landscape of olive groves into an almost surreal scene, with a use of colour, tones and hues that present a landscape of his imagination rather than reality. In this Landscape Art Print we look at his depiction of hills and elevations and see the contours of land divided into agricultural areas bounded by a series of stone walls; we see old houses in the background, so that every painting becomes a representation of Palestinian nature and topography as seen by the artist’s obsessive imagination.
In this Landscape Art Print, Anani chooses to enlarge a tree in the foreground, while gradually diminishing the sizes of the clusters of trees until they take on abnormal shapes, adding to the surrealism of the scene. This is the same type of treatment we observe him giving in different works to houses, human figures and texts. He presents enlarged forms in the foreground where the bottom band is often close to the viewer and, as we look away towards the horizon, we finally arrive to a thin band bearing the shadow of the figure in the foreground. The artist frequently finishes a work with a band of colour representing the distant horizon, at times in an especially brilliant tone of blue, yellow or light green which transforms the natural landscape with its artificial colour. Anani often gives real place names to these landscapes from the hidden and forgotten geography of Palestine before seizure and occupation, restoring them in the imagination, if not to reality.