Ramallah Art Fair


DECEMBER 14, 2020 – MARCH 4, 2021

Ramallah Art Fair: In cooperation with 26 Palestinian artists, participating with over 100 artworks, Zawyeh Gallery inaugurates the first edition of Ramallah Art Fair on Monday, 14 December 2020. This fair’s edition features sets of works created recently or produced specifically for the fair by Palestinian artists, some of whom haven’t exhibited in the gallery before. The launching of the event comes as an attempt to provide original Palestinian art at affordable prices and a way of encouraging local collectors as well as young and emerging artists during the upcoming festive season. Audiences are encouraged to support Palestinian art by choosing unique presents of original pieces of Palestinian art.

The first edition of Ramallah Art Fair displays an array of inspiring artworks, emerging and renowned artists who explore a variety of subjects stemming from the Palestinian context. Artworks on display are immersed in the politics of the place that cannot be separated from the life of any Palestinian. Some of the artists tackle the Palestinian landscape under occupation; Khaled Hourani, for example, displays a picturesque landscape interrupted by the intruding structure of the Israeli separation wall, while Karim Abu Shakra paints Palestinian indigenous wild plants in pots, suggesting the domestication of these plants and alluding to how the revolutionary life of Palestinians has become domesticated over the years. Fouad Agbaria, on the other hand, focuses on the olive tree, using mainly black and golden colors to reflect the unappreciated holiness of the olive tree subject to the continuous brutality of the occupation. Durar Bacri paints hills and streams that are uninterrupted by elements of occupation.  Tayseer Barakat’s small abstract wooden frames seem to reflect his yearning for the sandy beaches of Gaza while Mohammad Khalil, who lives away from the Palestinian coast and cannot access it, draws scenes of the wild wavy Mediterranean Sea and rocky beaches with wide strokes of his brush.  Rawan Khalilieh’s ink-on-paper artworks depict scenery of rocky landscapes, yet one can see in these stones at the same time a group of bodies in motion or entangled together. Sliman Mansour and Wadea Khaled focus on the old city of Jerusalem with its rooftops, old houses, and holy sites. In a different spirit, Yazan Abu Salameh draws the landscape of everyday life under occupation with a heavy presence of military structures, yet one can find tiny colored windows of hope in his greyish paintings. Fayez Sirsawi tackles scenes from demonstrations portraying them from the opposite side.

In this art fair, a group of young artists explores a wide range of sociopolitical issues. Mahdi Baraghithi frames separately three parts of a family photograph under the title “Portrait of a family in exile.” By dividing the photo into parts, he divides the memory of individuals who once were together but went separate ways. Monther Jawabreh presents faces of martyred children from Gaza embroidered with silk threads. He attempts to introduce these images as new patterns of the iconic and popular Palestinian embroidery which reflects the Palestinian identity. Bashar Khalaf’s artworks are part of a project experimenting with the aesthetics of identity representations. His works are inspired by posters ripped off the walls in public spaces. Fadi Batrice takes a nostalgic journey back to his childhood, only to come back bringing with him a critical look at how society favors males. Rana Samara, on the other hand, continues to bring up the issue of intimate places in Palestinian homes but this time through unusually very small-sized artworks.

Palestinian women are strongly present in the works of several other participating artists, such as Nabil Anani’s wooden work, Shafik Radwan’s watercolor on paper, Hosni Radwan’s ink and watercolor on paper, in addition to Sana Bishara’s bronze sculptures. Ibrahim Al Mozain and Asma Ghanem, on the other hand, celebrate life with their bold, vivid colors of portraits of people.

Ola Zaitoun and Maisara Baroud participate with artworks produced during quarantine, while Bashar Alhroub’s series of artworks explore holiness. Shada Safadi participates in a series of artworks using cyanotype prints that is either in an abstract form or present sections of animal images.