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Art of Palestinian Women

Premier Exhibit

Art of Palestinian Women

Opening March 6 – September 13, 2020

An Exhibition of Sculpture, Photography, Painting, Mixed Media, Video and Performance.

By: Dana Barqawi, Manal Deeb, Lux Eterna, Samar Hussaini, and Malak Mattar. Curated by Nancy Nesvet.

Five women artists of Palestinian heritage from Gaza, Jordan, Australia, and the U.S. exhibit their performance, video, paintings, photography and sculpture. Art of Palestinian Women looks at the past and present to illustrate layers of Palestinian history. Portraits of Palestinians and those of other indigenous cultures, and vistas of ancestral lands show how art preserves and bears testimony to strife and joy in Palestinian lives. Using Tatreez patterns, Arabic calligraphy, Palestinian iconography and gold leaf, the colors and materials of Palestinian  culture are contemporized.

Dana Barqawi

Artist, Painter, Designer, Politics, Urban, Space, Cosmos, Photography, Nature

For Dana, the act of artistic creation is inseparable from notions of the real world. In times where socio-political changes compose an inherent part of our reality, she chooses to reflect the context within her work and consequently creates politically and socially engaged art.

Found deep in the largest library in the world – The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. – are hundreds of images and archives of Palestinian existence, culture, and history which is intentionally missing from the modern, formal, occupier’s narrative. This art collection, called “A Land without a People,” aims to challenge the widely cited rhetoric: “a land without a people for a people without a land”. The artworks celebrate Palestinian existence and culture, portraying the people of the land before 1948, focusing on the absent, erased narrative. Featuring paint, gold leaf, and embroidery on photograph.

Dana’s pieces from left to right, top to bottom (please contact us if interested in purchasing the art):

  • Woman Going to Market. Mixed Media on Photograph. 2019.
  • Women with Water Jars. Mixed Media on Photograph. 2019.
  • Married Woman from Bethlehem, Wearing Hat and Veil. Mixed Media on Photograph. 2019.
  • Peasant Women from Ramallah. Mixed Media on Photograph. 2019.
  • Girl from Ramallah. Mixed Media on Photograph. 2019.
  • Carmel and Haifa. Mixed Media on Photograph. 2019.

Lux Eterna

Lux is a multidisciplinary artist from Sydney, Australia working at the intersections of digital photography, video, sound, dance, long durational performance and meditation. Lux’s approach investigates the inter-connectivity between transient, yet infinitely occurring circular paths of life, death and regeneration, oscillation between the collective feminine and masculine forces of our psyche, sacred and platonic geometry as the elemental source for all shape and material construct of our universe, the viscera, and the atoms of nature.

Lux’s works on exhibition feature eight portraits of Women, each from colonised and/or Indigenous heritage. Alongside, her video work: Displacing Colonisation 2018, Aura Nox Anima 2016, and Dune 2015.

Decolonising the Gaze, as a body of work, opens dialogue around how Women of Colour, women who reside within colonial diaspora, and Indigenous Women feel they are seen. Furthermore, it serves as a platform for storytelling, visual representation, and agency in content creation, to better direct audiences beyond the hegemonic male and occidental gaze,
which renders us ‘othered.’

Lux’s portrait works and stills from films, from left to right, top to bottom (please contact us if interested in purchasing the art):

  • Mikhaila Tapionkaski. Portrait, 2019.
  • Motherland/Her On In. Autoportrait, 2017.
  • Kerzlake. Portrait, 2018.
  • Cleonie Quayle. Portrait, 2017.
  • Naomi Nomu. Portrait, 2017.
  • Tian Zhang. Portrait, 2017.
  • Rakini Devi. Portrait, 2017.
  • Still from Displacing Colonisation. Digital Video, 2018.
  • Film: Aura Nox Anima. HD Digital Video 7m45, 2016.
  • Film: DUNE. HD Digital Video, 2016.

Manal Deeb

Manal Deeb is a Palestinian-American visual artist who was born in Ramallah, Palestine, and currently resides in the Washington, DC area. Manal’s work focuses on exploring and preserving her Palestinian identity, while at the same time attempting to reach a conscious happiness away from home (in exile).

“I place female faces in emotional tension to convey vibrant feelings. At the same time, I use color, calligraphy, and natural settings to play up either the conflicting sentiments or the fluidity and harmony that define the self. Although different female faces repeat themselves in my paintings, those faces represent the same woman. My artistic approach helps
the viewer understand that answers to all inquiries are found in one’s eyes—the windows to the soul and to memories. Ultimately, it is our common humanity that grounds us: we are all the same, regardless of our differences.”

Manal’s pieces from left to right, top to bottom (please contact us if interested in purchasing the art):

  • Childhood.  Mixed media acrylic painting on stretched canvas. 48” x 36.”  2015.
  • Young Palestine. Mixed media and acrylic paint on stretched canvas. 16” x 24.” 2019.
  • Proclivity. Mixed media and acrylic paint on stretched canvas. 16” x 24.” 2019.
  • I Am. Mixed media and acrylic paint on stretched canvas. 36” x 36.” 2017.

Samar Hussaini

“My art is a record of my Palestinian identity and every viewer is part of my achievement.”

Born in the United States to Arab parents, Samar Hussaini seeks to visualize the layered challenges and enriching distinction of being a Palestinian-American and at the same time striving to create thought-provoking ideas of dialogue and hope.

Hussaini’s work incorporates layers of symbols and cultural icons connected to her Palestinian heritage. Icons such as the traditional Thob, a Palestinian dress which is notable for its embroidered designs, indicating regional identity and the practice associated with women’s self-expression in their community; the Keffiyeh, a traditional Arab head covering which holds the history of farmer, freedom-fighter, and activist, and is a symbol of freedom, hope, and a people’s fight against repression; And inspired by her father Hatem Hussaini, a political activist and leader who spoke about creating empathy and humanizing Palestinian’s, she employs his writings from over 30 years ago which still have context and resonate even today.

Samar’s pieces, from left to right, top to bottom (please contact us if interested in purchasing the art):

  • Rise. Canvas and mixed media, 2020.
  • Resilient Legacy. Canvas and mixed media, 2017.
  • On the mannequin: Kaftan/Thob. Painted polyester.
  • Reflections. Mixed media on canvas.
  • The full collection on display.

Malak Mattar

Malak Mattar, a 20-year-old woman artist from the Gaza Strip, Palestine currently attends Istanbul Aydin University in Istanbul, Turkey. She started painting in 2014, at thirteen years of age, during the fifty-one-day Israeli military assault on Gaza. Forced to stay inside for her own safety, she felt a compelling need to release all of her negative energy—fear, anxiety, and sheer terror. In the first two years, Mattar produced over 200 paintings. Her first international exhibition was in Bristol, UK, in 2017. Since then, her artwork has been featured in individual and group exhibitions in Jerusalem, France, Spain, Costa Rica, India, and in the Art Under Siege exhibit in the Rayburn House Office Building, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

Malak’s pieces, from left to right:

  • Three Women. Acrylic on canvas.
  • Woman with Bird. Acrylic on canvas.