Posts tagged Arab Art

Behind the headlines A revolution in Syrian art

Behind the headlines is a series of events at the Museum exploring the cultural context behind news stories from across the world, looking closely at objects from the Museum’s collection.

Before 2011, the Syrian art scene was limited by the number of galleries and spaces for showing work, and the government control of cultural institutions. Since the uprising, an outpouring of creative expression from artists across all levels of Syrian society has formed a response to the violence. This panel discussion, chaired by Malu Halasa, co-editor of Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, and including panellists Issam Kourbaj, Zaher Omareen, Khalil Younes and Venetia Porter, will consider the pre-revolution period through looking at British Museum objects, the change that revolution has bought to the country’s artists, and the new possibilities that lie ahead.

The British Museum
Friday 20 June
18.30–19.30 
BP Lecture Theatre

Syria Speaks
Art and Culture from the Frontline
Edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud
In Syria, culture has become a critical line of defence against tyranny.
Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. It showcases the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria. Their literature, poems and songs, cartoons, political posters and photographs document and interpret the momentous changes that have shifted the frame of reality so drastically in Syria.
Moving and inspiring, Syria Speaks is testament to the courage, creativity and imagination of the Syrian people.
(Cover image: Poster by Alshaab alsori aref tarekh showing a character by Mohamed Tayeb. Zaytoun, the Little Refugee, from the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, is a political, artistic and educational project, which contests the monopoly of power to write history)
Published: June 2014

Syria Speaks

Art and Culture from the Frontline

Edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud

In Syria, culture has become a critical line of defence against tyranny.

Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. It showcases the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria. Their literature, poems and songs, cartoons, political posters and photographs document and interpret the momentous changes that have shifted the frame of reality so drastically in Syria.

Moving and inspiring, Syria Speaks is testament to the courage, creativity and imagination of the Syrian people.

(Cover image: Poster by Alshaab alsori aref tarekh showing a character by Mohamed Tayeb. Zaytoun, the Little Refugee, from the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, is a political, artistic and educational project, which contests the monopoly of power to write history)

Published: June 2014

ALWAN AL HAIA 
“[Say: “Our life is] the color of Allah! And who can color better than Allah? And it is He Whom we worship.” Al Baqarah 2:138
Painting by Dana Awartani, a half-Palestinian half-Saudi Arabian artist born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Through research and her own practice Dana was particularly drawn to the perennial philosophy to which geometry and all of the traditional arts subscribe. She found geometry to be representative of a timeless language of aesthetics which, through its mathematical and visually democratic origin represents a universal language of beauty and harmony; in essence, geometry is the perfect reflection of God’s infinity and manifestation on earth as found in nature and His creation. Geometry therefore combines artistic creativity with an inherent logical system informed by Divine principles.
Read an interview with her here. 
(Colours of LIfe: Shell gold & natural pigments on prepared paper 28.5 x 28.5 cm) 

ALWAN AL HAIA

“[Say: “Our life is] the color of Allah! And who can color better than Allah? And it is He Whom we worship.” Al Baqarah 2:138

Painting by Dana Awartani, a half-Palestinian half-Saudi Arabian artist born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Through research and her own practice Dana was particularly drawn to the perennial philosophy to which geometry and all of the traditional arts subscribe. She found geometry to be representative of a timeless language of aesthetics which, through its mathematical and visually democratic origin represents a universal language of beauty and harmony; in essence, geometry is the perfect reflection of God’s infinity and manifestation on earth as found in nature and His creation. Geometry therefore combines artistic creativity with an inherent logical system informed by Divine principles.

Read an interview with her here

(Colours of LIfe: Shell gold & natural pigments on prepared paper 28.5 x 28.5 cm) 

Rhizoma (Generation in Waiting) at the Venice Art Biennale 2013
RHIZOMA draws its inspiration from a younger generation of Saudi artists and embraces visual art alongside technology, science and natural philosophy.
"Rhizoma (generation in waiting) is a curatorial project inspired by the multidisciplinary arts practices of 26 young artists, collectives and foundations from Saudi Arabia. This new and exciting scene is comparable to an actual rhizoma, the Ancient Greek word for the underground root of a plant that shoots its roots horizontally and vertically, against the force of gravity, possessing the ability to replant itself and form new roots."
- Sara Raza & Ashraf Fayadh, curators of Rhizoma

Rhizoma (Generation in Waiting) at the Venice Art Biennale 2013

RHIZOMA draws its inspiration from a younger generation of Saudi artists and embraces visual art alongside technology, science and natural philosophy.

"Rhizoma (generation in waiting) is a curatorial project inspired by the multidisciplinary arts practices of 26 young artists, collectives and foundations from Saudi Arabia. This new and exciting scene is comparable to an actual rhizoma, the Ancient Greek word for the underground root of a plant that shoots its roots horizontally and vertically, against the force of gravity, possessing the ability to replant itself and form new roots."

- Sara Raza & Ashraf Fayadh, curators of Rhizoma

The film Sanctity tells the story of Areej, a young, pregnant Saudi widow, who will do anything to protect her unborn child. Kamel not only wrote and directed the film, she also played the leading role. It was shot on location in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and is her second film. Igal Avidan met her in Berlin and asked her about women’s rights and film-making in a country that has no cinemas.

The film Sanctity tells the story of Areej, a young, pregnant Saudi widow, who will do anything to protect her unborn child. Kamel not only wrote and directed the film, she also played the leading role. It was shot on location in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and is her second film. Igal Avidan met her in Berlin and asked her about women’s rights and film-making in a country that has no cinemas.

A New Middle Eastern Art Centre for London
Middle Eastern art is gathering momentum in the capital. Tate’s acquisition committee, and the numerous exhibitions dedicated to artists from the region, are but a few signs of the trend. Now Edge of Arabia, a staunch promoter of the Middle East’s artistic production, and its sister education charity Crossway Foundation, are moving up a gear. After four years under the roof of London’s Arab British Centre, they will inaugurate their new venue at TESTBED 1, in Battersea, on March 7.
The 4000 sq. ft, Will Alsop-designed premises feature a 4000 sq. ft gallery, as well as a research library and space to host screenings, workshops, and performances. It will be inaugurated by “It’s a project,” a multi-media exhibition showcasing the organization’s activities since Stapleton’s first meeting with the future co-founders. In the next few months, collaborations with guest curators are not excluded. “We want to reach out to London audiences, invite them to engage with the emerging Middle East art scene,” said Stapleton.
by Coline Milliard
Testbed 1, a cavernous studio and exhibition space for artists, inventors and scientists - creative space co-run by the architect, Will Alsop

A New Middle Eastern Art Centre for London

Middle Eastern art is gathering momentum in the capital. Tate’s acquisition committee, and the numerous exhibitions dedicated to artists from the region, are but a few signs of the trend. Now Edge of Arabia, a staunch promoter of the Middle East’s artistic production, and its sister education charity Crossway Foundation, are moving up a gear. After four years under the roof of London’s Arab British Centre, they will inaugurate their new venue at TESTBED 1, in Battersea, on March 7.

The 4000 sq. ft, Will Alsop-designed premises feature a 4000 sq. ft gallery, as well as a research library and space to host screenings, workshops, and performances. It will be inaugurated by “It’s a project,” a multi-media exhibition showcasing the organization’s activities since Stapleton’s first meeting with the future co-founders. In the next few months, collaborations with guest curators are not excluded. “We want to reach out to London audiences, invite them to engage with the emerging Middle East art scene,” said Stapleton.

by Coline Milliard

Testbed 1, a cavernous studio and exhibition space for artists, inventors and scientists - creative space co-run by the architect, Will Alsop


“Arabic Graffiti” brings together artists, graffiti writers and typographers from the Middle East and around the world who merge Arabic calligraphy with the art of graffiti writing, street art and urban culture. In addition to a rich assortment of photos featuring Arabic graffiti and street art styles, it includes essays by distinguished authors and scene experts, in which they explore the traditional elements, modern approaches, and the socio-political and cultural backgrounds which have shaped Arabic graffiti movements in the Middle East.   “Arabic Graffiti” curated and authored by Lebanese typographer Pascal Zoghbi and graffiti writer and publisher Stone aka Don Karl, is an extensive and valuable reference on contemporary graffiti, urban calligraphy and type design in the realm of Arabic letters.

“Arabic Graffiti” brings together artists, graffiti writers and typographers from the Middle East and around the world who merge Arabic calligraphy with the art of graffiti writing, street art and urban culture. In addition to a rich assortment of photos featuring Arabic graffiti and street art styles, it includes essays by distinguished authors and scene experts, in which they explore the traditional elements, modern approaches, and the socio-political and cultural backgrounds which have shaped Arabic graffiti movements in the Middle East. “Arabic Graffiti” curated and authored by Lebanese typographer Pascal Zoghbi and graffiti writer and publisher Stone aka Don Karl, is an extensive and valuable reference on contemporary graffiti, urban calligraphy and type design in the realm of Arabic letters.

Sajjil means‘Act of Recording’ and it brings together over 200 artworks from Mathaf’s extensive collection. Here you will find turning-points in artistic thought as it evolved in the Arab world during the century leading up to the 1990s.

Sajjil means‘Act of Recording’ and it brings together over 200 artworks from Mathaf’s extensive collection. Here you will find turning-points in artistic thought as it evolved in the Arab world during the century leading up to the 1990s.

Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, this is an extensive look over some of the names who have shaped the contemporary Arab art scene in the past 10 years. Each of the works featured were commissioned specifically for the exhibition, and Told, Untold Retold, for this, is certainly an ambitious collection.

Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, this is an extensive look over some of the names who have shaped the contemporary Arab art scene in the past 10 years. Each of the works featured were commissioned specifically for the exhibition, and Told, Untold Retold, for this, is certainly an ambitious collection.