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before long ago became long ago
The complete image/piece is made of 8 prints going one way, and 8 going the other of a staircase in an abandoned olive store. As we are in the 8th decade of the loss of Palestine, 8 seemed appropriate.
Cypress trees with the walls of Jerusalem
Cypress Trees with the walls of Jerusalem as patterns are not usually found together on an object. I have been trying to create new narratives and stories, a different visual language, using the embroidery motifs, both to celebrate and to mourn the loss of statehood, of village, and of landscape in the current political turmoil.
In the current turbulent climate surrounding Palestine and in particular Jerusalem with the Holy Sanctuary (Dome of the Rock-Al Aqsa) in a constant state of friction, my “utopia” of a peaceful city (Jerusalem – the city’s name itself indicates peace and sanctuary – is falling further and further away from its intended purpose, not peace, no utopia.
A tightly hung harvest
A print from a photograph of cast ceramic keys that represent homes lost during the Palestinian Nakba and beyond. See the original keys in the MFA graduation Degree show photos in 2018.
Third Space – Hiwar with Lujain Jamal
Wasps, Meadowmill, 2018
An initiative from curator Helen Angell-Preece.
From the press release written by Angell-Preece:
“….Contemporary culture, media and politics often represent global relations in a series of reductive dichotomies of opposition.
For a more useful dialogue to emerge, we must, believes Postcolonial theorist Homi Bhabha, focus instead on the space between. The space that opens up in the act of translation between two, often opposed cultures or languages, Bhabha describes, as The Third Space. It is, he says, a critical site for forging ‘new signs of identity and [re]negotiating cultural values’.
In order to help us explore and negotiate our way into this Third Space, curator Helen Angell-Preece brings together Palestinian-Scottish artist Leena Nammari, Saudi Arabian sculptor Lujain Jamal, and Palestinian cultural translator Dr Rana Abu-Mounes, to engage in an artistic, cross-cultural, translational and transnational dialogue, or Hiwar…..”
Edinburgh Printmakers: Paper to Gold, 2018
From EP website:
“To celebrate 50 years of printmaking excellence, Edinburgh Printmakers has invited 50 artists to each produce an anniversary print to be included in an astonishing commemorative portfolio of exemplary contemporary Scottish printmaking. Each artist has been invited to participate based on the quality of their practice and contributions to Edinburgh Printmakers studio throughout the years.“
I had used the Swedish Hut photograph as an example in most of my teaching for years while teaching at EP, and yet never editioned or printed a finished image. This was a chance to make something complete, to create an image with hand drawn and digital separations, using glitter and translucent colours.
We Do Need a Bigger Boat
Deluge, Edinburgh Printmakers, 2017
Medium: Screenprint – folded paper
As Edinburgh Printmakers (EP) has grown over the past 51 years, it has also outgrown its wonderful eccentric former washhouse premises at Union Street. It has squeezed presses, members, courses, racks into ever smaller spaces, so we DO need a bigger space, hence: We DO need a bigger boat to float about in. Each boat is signed and has an edition number. They work as a collective, but also can be solitary and individual, as all printmakers are.
MFA Degree Show
Using cyanotypes, ceramics, bronze and prints, the show presented a subtle narrative littered with my eclectic curiosity in art of making. Having studied printmaking as an undergraduate, worked in print workshops, taught printmaking techniques, and made my own work in the vast umbrella called printmaking, I have been constantly pushing the boundaries of what is print.
The MFA has given me the option of exploring other media, pushing my thirst for knowledge down new avenues, and yet, in my mind, it is all part of the ethos of printmaking, never in a rigid sense, but in the fluid adaptability of the processes. I have found my life is vastly multi-layered, and therefore, really, all life is printmaking.
It Will Live
The floating images are of a house I have loved and known for 35 years.
I have been photographing it for 20.
I have been hoping it will survive the ravages of time, and not be demolished for a new, better functioning glass and steel and concrete structure.
I have been hoping it would live.
I remember I have loved it.
I remember I am anxious about it.
I think I remember what it looks like, but really, I don’t.
I do not want to know who owns it.
I do not want to know.
I just want it to live.
And it will live.
A homesickness to a home to which you cannot return. A grief for the lost places of your past.
the 441 (four hundred and forty one) keys represent the 441 Palestinian villages that no longer exist. They have been wiped off the map, for 70 years, their inhabitants have had the “haneen” to go home, and hold onto the keys to the homes they had fled. And there is no home to go to.
Each of the unfired clay keys represent a minimum of 200 and a maximum of 1000 people per key in 1948. THIS is why the right of return is held so closely held. THIS is why the Palestinians struggle. THIS is why, in their various refugee camps, they long for home. 70 years later, they are still are in temporary places, and the haneen becomes stronger, not lesser, as their lives get harder, and their struggle is supplanted by other struggles, and obscured by greater powers.
This is the issue. And it will not go away.
The keys themselves are useless, they will open nothing, as they home they belonged to does not exist, but remains a symbol of haneen. But we have to think differently. The clay is malleable mud. It can be rewetted, reformed. We must hold onto it, but reform it into something that we can create meaning, and not just live off the thoughts it brings.
Bronze cast and lasercut Palestinian olive wood.
Curse at will. Learn your curses well- weigh your words carefully.
Prefaced with “God” to obtain full potency.
Yila’an illi Khallafak: Curse who created you
Yihiddak – Destroy you
Yisamhak – Forgive you
Yikhzeek – Humiliate you
Yila’an Shiklak – Ruin your looks
Yighuss Balak – Choke your peace of mind
Yifdah A’ardak – Condemn your reputation
Yakhdak wi yirayyihni minnak – Take you and relieve me of you
Yila’an abook – Curse your father
Yikhrib baiytak – ruin your home.
Porcelain plaques made from deeply etched Zinc plates.
The words are overlapped, obscured, confused.
Yet, you can still pick out the critical urgent words. In 1970, Ghassan Kanafani was interviewed by an Australian reporter about the Palestinian struggle.
When asked “why not just talk”
He replied: “talk to whom? Talk about what? A kind of conversation between
The sword and the neck.”…”
His words still resonate 48 years later, and 46 since his assassination.
When poets writers and artists become worthy of assassination, they have something to say, they become feared by their oppressor.
Kanafani also said… “.. why struggle?:
To liberate our country, to have dignity, to have respect
To have our mere human rights, is something as essential as life itself”.