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8 MARCH - 14 MAY 2022
Dia Mrad, a Lebanese photographer, who comes from an architecture background, expresses his fascination with the city he lives in; Beirut. These photographs are part of a series he took aiming to document the physical history of Beirut by first looking back at abandoned landmarks and neglected structures that once shaped the culture of the city. The project develops to look into the contemporary history of the city and its recent unfolding transformation and sheds light on the architecture that might face the same destiny and slip into forgotten history.
Bashir Qonqar explores the woods as a metaphor for life and existence. He presents several artworks using acrylic and oil on canvas and Chinese ink on jute. By painting the woods, Qonqar reveals what’s hidden inside his head: entangled trees and branches and layers of vibrant colors. Although the woods stand as a metaphor for a safe internal sanctuary, it also becomes a source of constant fear for him. Refugees can be seen hiding between those branches looking at a far away fruit plate in what looks like a still life painting titled Hunting Season. This work depicts the tragedy of thousands of abandoned refugees stuck in the woods on the borders of Poland.
Nabil Anani presents some of his landscape works; dreamy landscapes that can only be found in a utopic Palestine free of occupation. In his last series, Anani includes large figures as focal points, blended with nature. The integration between the land/nature and humans manifests clearly as the branches and roots of the trees bend and twist all over these female bodies turning into veins and arteries. Anani uses female bodies to emphasize the connotation of “motherland” to stress the beauty of the land and the importance of the connection with nature. The works are painted in cheerful, vibrant colors, and their titles further stress the theme: The Land and I and Branches and Sprigs.
Bashar Alhroub’s artistic style varies as well as the methods he uses to express his desired theme: Spirituality. In this series titled Meditation, he uses mixed media on paper and silkscreen printing to reflect a colorful connection between his soul and the colorful skies. Yet, this connection is obstructed by entangled branches of high trees. Their silhouette and branches appear like creatures from another world, perhaps the same discreet world that Alhroub is trying to connect with spiritually.
Ruba Salameh continues to explore geometric shapes and follows the rhythms that unfold through the process of creating. Her interest in abstraction expands into a world that has no ending. In this new series, she resumes examining the combination between abstract paintings and realistic ants that she adds to her linen surface. She ties her western educational background that she has gained and her reality, as someone belonging to the indigenous people alienated from the land. She deconstructs and reconstructs her perception of what it means to be Palestinian, emphasizing this existential connection between the land and its own people. For her, ants symbolize the many parallels and connections she sees between the two.
Yazan Abu Salameh presents a series of artworks that continues to discuss the rapidly changing urban environment as a result of the apartheid wall and its impact on daily life. Living in Bethlehem and encountering the Israeli Apartheid Wall, the endless concrete roadblocks, watchtowers, checkpoints, new buildings…etc, Abu Salameh thinks that our cities do not look like us anymore. Through his artworks, he tries to penetrate the blocked horizon and make a way for the beams of the sunlight as his figures keep seeking freedom.