“I was born and raised in the 1970s-1980s war in Lebanon which has definitely marked my identity, world vision, and visual expression, and has fueled my pursuit for connections between cultures and religions; the contemporary and traditional; the physical and digital; the logos (“word”), and the eikon (Gr. εἰκών/εἰκόνα, “image”, “likeness”, “representation”, or “depiction”).
My art journey started in my childhood, in shelters, drawing with rudimentary tools and singing with other children so that our voices cover the horrific sounds of the bombing. The 1990s opened the doors to momentary ceasefires [definitely not what was portrayed by so-called ‘experts’ as the post-war era] and to my own quest for healing the wounds of memory and connecting people beyond borders of hate and ignorance through the arts and culture.
Traditional iconography and restoration of icons were the first milestones in my quest, followed by Kufic calligraphy, and reconstructions of my visual style, themes (such as women’s rights and empowerment, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, war memory and peacebuilding, migration, …), colors, and medium. I was no longer using egg tempera but experimenting with mixed media, then digital arts, while connecting traditional byzantine and syriac ‘writing’ of iconographic faces — using stylized forms, specific light and shading effects linked to the possibility of human divinization (theosis), and inverse perspective — with contemporary visualizations of the margins, the invisible/visible channeling, “what is already and not yet”, and the socio-political function of arts towards inclusive societies.
My art is a multiform expression of my experiences at the crossroads of identities and follows my glocal (local/global) footprints and dialogic connections in Canada, Europe, and Southwestern Asia.
Each artwork’s role is either to “make present” here and now the “invisible” gazes or to express pieces of wounded memories and interpenetrating cultural narratives, and more, to sublimate reality without making it appear ontologically superior or ‘hyper real’, but simply different”.
- 1995-96: Icons Painting, Religious Arts Program – Institut des Arts Sacrés, Holy Spirit University (USEK) – Lebanon.
- 1996-1999: Icons Painting, Regional Fairs, Iconography Field Trips, Internships – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands.
- 1997-2001: Icons Restoration, Private Atelier & Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA), University of Balamand – Lebanon.
- 1998: “Icônes restaurées” (Collective Exhibition), 16th-19th c. restored icons, ALBA – Lebanon.
- 1999: Higher Studies Diploma in Fine Arts and Restoration of Icons, ALBA – Lebanon.
- 2001: M.A. Theology, Cultures and Religions Thesis on 16-18th c. Icons of Aleppo (Syria), Université de Montréal – Québec, Canada.
- 2002: “Interculturality” (Collective Exhibition), Centre Religions et Spiritualités, Montreal – Canada, January.
- 2002: “Intercultural Week” (Collective Exhibition), Canada Heritage Stand, University of Montreal – Canada.
- 2003: “Icônes du Liban, au Carrefour du dialogue des cultures” book, Carte Blanche, Montreal – Québec, Canada.
- 2004: “Spiritual Love” (Solo Exhibition and Live Painting), The Hut, Montreal – Canada, February to April.
- 2004-present: Academic Papers, Art Workshops Organization, Invited Talks, Online Articles, Interviews, and Documentaries in the Arts of the Middle East – Lebanon, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Italy, France, Cyprus, Turkey, Jordan …
- 2005: “Create Justice, Recognize Differences” (Art workshop and joint exhibition with painter Annie Claudine Tremblay), ‘Women Doing Theology’ Feminist and Interspiritual Conference, College Jean-de-Brebeuf, Montreal – Canada, December 9.
- 2006: “Muslim Christian Dialogue” (Solo exhibition), Canada Research Chair, Islam, Pluralism and Globalization, University of Montreal – Canada.
- 2006: “A la rencontre de l’Islam” book, Médiaspaul, Montreal – Québec, Canada.
- 2009: “Hyphen Islam-Christianity” (joint exhibition with photographer Nada Raphael), Gesu Center, Festival of the Arab World, Montreal – Canada.
- 2009: “Hyphen Islam-Christianity” (joint exhibition with photographer Nada Raphael), Beit el Tabib, Beirut – Lebanon.
- 2009: “Hyphen Islam-Christianity” (joint exhibition with photographer Nada Raphael), Byblos, Arts and Crafts Center – Lebanon.
- 2010: “Muslim-Christian Dialogues” (Collective Exhibition), Notre-Dame de Jamhour College, Muslim-Christian National Day – Lebanon, March 25.
- 2011: “War Memory and Art Therapy” (Art Workshop) – ‘Healing the Wounds of History’ Conference, organized by the Center for Lebanese Studies and the Guerrand – Hermes Foundation for Peace in partnership with the Institute of Diplomacy and Transformation of the Lebanese American University, Byblos-Lebanon.
- 2015: MEST FORUM Al Adha Cultural Event Organization and Live Painting (Art workshop), Middle Eastern Studies Division, School of Arts and Sciences, American University in Dubai – United Arab Emirates, September 29.
- 2016: MEST FORUM – Peace Through Arts Organization (Visual art exhibition and video installations), Middle Eastern Studies Division, School of Arts and Sciences, American University in Dubai – United Arab Emirates, April 11.
- 2017: International Women’s Day: Women Who Inspire Us, Intercultural Buffet, Poetry Recitation, Live Artistic Production and Creative Writing Workshops, American University in Dubai, Dubai (United Arab Emirates), February 26.
- 2017: Engaging Gazes, Generating Poetry, Paintings Series (Solo Exhibition), and poetry by Drs. Omar Sabbagh and Nadia Wardeh, Visual Communication Forum, Rotunda Gallery, American University in Dubai – United Arab Emirates, April 5 to 29.
- 2004-2018: University teaching – undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in the Arts of the Middle East: Université de Montréal (Canada), Université Saint-Joseph (Lebanon), American University in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).
- 2015-2018: Online Art Platform (“Peace Art in Dubai“), American University in Dubai – United Arab Emirates.
- 2019: Duwama Collection (Collective Exhibition), Anima Mundi Festival – Visions, Itsliquid International Art Festival (Venice Biennale), Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi, Venice – Italy.
- 2020-2021: Program Manager, NABAD intervention/outreach arts and culture program in Southwestern Asia and North Africa.
- 2020-2021: ARLEB Senior Curator, Content Creator and Manager – NABAD intervention/outreach arts and culture program in Southwestern Asia and North Africa.
- 2022: The Healing Power of Color Exhibition 2022, Collective Exhibition, Manhattan Arts International and The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS (HPAA), New York, April 4 to June 4, 2022.
- 2022: Beauteous Forms, Brouhaha Art Gallery 3D Virtual Exhibition, Hong Kong, April 24 to 30, 2022.
- 2022: Images of Women, Independent & Image Art Space, Virtual Exhibition, Chongqing, China, May 1 to June 5.
- 2022: Liquid Arsenal, International Mixed Reality Art Exhibition, M.A.D.S Art Gallery, Milan-Italy & Fuerteventura-Spain, May 28 to June 3.
1997- 2013 Iconography & Calligraphy – Egg Tempera and Mixed Media
2014-2017 Iconography & Calligraphy – Mixed Media and Digital Art
Engaging Gazes Generating Poetry Exhibition – Dubai (UAE), 2017
Duwama, Anima Mundi Festival: Visions, Venice (Italy), 2019
ITSLIQUID Group, in collaboration with Venice Events and Ca’ Zanardi, is proud to announce VISIONS, third appointment of ANIMA MUNDI 2019 – International Art Festival, curated by Arch. Luca Curci (founder and director of THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space, ITSLIQUID Group and Luca Curci Architects) that will be held at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space from October 03 to November 24, 2019 and at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi from October 04 to November 24, 2019 in Venice.
The Festival will run from May to November 2019, in the same period of the 58th Venice Art Biennale, “May you live in interesting times”, curated by Ralph Rugoff and organized by La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, hosted at the Giardini and at the Arsenale venues.
The festival focuses on the concept of ANIMA MUNDI, that according to several historical cultures, religions and philosophical systems, is an intrinsic connection between all living entities on the planet, which relates to the world in a similar way as the human soul is connected to the human body. Plato expressed his thought about the ANIMA MUNDI in the Timaeus, “this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence… a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related”.
ANIMA MUNDI is the invisible energy behind all the natural and artificial elements that allow the planet to live. Thanks to the hidden connections of ANIMA MUNDI, all the ecosystems of the Earth, before and after the appearance of mankind, found their equilibrium, their ways to live and to develop themselves, to transform and to evolve. All the beings of the planet, plants, minerals, animals are permeated by a secret force that has always stimulated human thought and research.
ITSLIQUID Group is running a charity initiative aimed to support some of the most important no-profit organizations that are internationally involved in environmental protection, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, One Tree Planted, The Ocean Cleanup and Plastic Oceans. This choice comes from the essence of ANIMA MUNDI in which everything is related to the living entities of the planet. Click here for more information.
Organized by ITSLIQUID Group
Curator Luca Curci
in collaboration with Venice Events, Ca’ Zanardi
project manager Giulia Tassi
project coordinators Amaride Ferrante, Virna Manattini, Gaia Persichetti, Viola Persico
collaborators Ottavia Marilungo, Irene Scilipoti, Martina Moratello
graphic designer Fabio Murgolo
supported by Rare Art Inc., Sixteen, Soledad Senlle Art Foundation, St1
THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space
Calle Larga San Marco, 374 – 30124 Venice, Italy
October 03 – November 24, 2019
09:30 AM – 05:30 PM | Monday – Friday
OPENING October 03, 2019 | 06:00PM
Click here to follow our event live
Art of the Revolution (2019 – 2021) – Sketching on Recycled Paper and Digital Art
Integrated Iconography (Digital and Hybrid Iconography Painting), 2022 – present
Pushing the borders of integrated art in the realm of iconography. This collection is at the crossroads of Western Asian iconography, calligraphy, and digital arts. It is about expressing pieces of wounded memories by sublimating reality. Each icon is an attempt to beautify life, transcend the limitations set by tragedy, and is an experience of the sublime that lurks within and beyond the ambiguity of traumas in a quest for the healing of life.
The Healing Power of Color Exhibition, Manhattan Arts International (New York), 2022
“Color affects our behaviors, moods, and thoughts. It has the ability to bring healing energy, soothe our frazzled nerves, and motivate and empower us. In art, the healing power of color is undeniable and far-reaching. Color (or hue) may be the first creative element an artist chooses and often the most distinctive quality we may notice about their art. This exhibition “The Healing Power of Color” features extraordinary art by more than 100 artists from around the world who create art using color to heal themselves and/or the viewer”.
Beauteous Forms, Brouhaha Art Gallery 3D Virtual Exhibition, Hong Kong, 2022
Images of Women, Independent & Image Art Space 独立映像艺术空间, Chongqing-China, 2022
参展艺术家：Amy Meng, 安娜·阿克塞诺娃, 傅文俊, 杰奎琳·梅, 珍·特雷尔, Lu, 奈·泽尔卡, 纳特里安·布朗, 萨马·埃洛米, 帕梅拉·查拉比, 莱利·基齐尔, 邱枘崎
Images of Women
From May 1, 2022 to June 5, 2022, Independent & Image Art Space is glad to present a group exhibition “Images of Women”.
In 1971, the American art historian Linda Nochlin published an article Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists, which was regarded as a pioneering work in feminist art history and art theory, and made a great influence. Now, about 50 years later, when we ask this question again, what answers pop into people’s minds?
Today’s society discusses women’s social identities, not only about equality and empowerment, but also about the potential changes that women’s creativity can bring to the world. In this exhibition, we hope to listen to the voices of women and to know their views on themselves, society, and the world.
At the same time, this is not an exhibition only for female artists. We embrace diversity in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, belief, age, etc. We hope to see the images of women made by different groups of people, and to understand how they view women and the roles women play in our world.
As Nochlin said in the article: “Rather, using as a vantage point their situation as underdogs in the realm of grandeur, and outsiders in that of ideology, women can reveal institutional and intellectual weaknesses in general, and, at the same time that they destroy false consciousness, take part in the creation of institutions in which clear thought—and true greatness—are challenges open to anyone, man or woman, courageous enough to take the necessary risk, the leap into the unknown.”
Artists: Amy Meng, Anna Axenova, Fu Wenjun, Jacqueline May, Jenn Terrell, Lu, Nae Zerka, Naterrian Brown, Osama Elolemy, Pamela Chrabieh, Riley Kizziar, Ruiqi Qiu.
Liquid Arsenal, International Mixed Reality Art Exhibition, M.A.D.S Art Gallery, Milan-Italy & Fuerteventura-Spain, 2022
Concept by Art Curator Lisa Galletti
(…) The fact that fluidity belongs to the human being is indicated both by our biological composition and by the composition of the very society in which we are immersed. Ours is a magmatic world, elusive in its relationships, postmodern in its total absence of the granitic semblance of an ancient world. It is a society in which the solid era of progress has come to an end, in which everything slips and the flow drowns out all persistence, all permanence, all rigidity. Beliefs and ideals become changeable, social ties become extremely fluid and indefinite, and the boundaries and coordinates of space-time disappear. We are in the presence of liquid modernity and all we have to do is immerse ourselves in it, letting ourselves be carried away by the flow of eternal becoming. Indefinite boundaries, non-existent in their development in the LAN networks of computers; fluid genders and love; a liquid reality that transforms its roots by reflecting itself in unreality, in the “other” real: that of the internet – and of the Metaverse. A new reality that finds and elaborates its nature in the liquid state of things. M.A.D.S. Gallery with Liquid Arsenal stands as a manifestation of the will to reflect on the concept of “liquidity” and, at the same time, is configured as a sort of walkway between reality – solid and tangible – and unreality – virtual, simulated, non-concrete. Let us let ourselves be carried away by the current of the river, let us wet our limbs and liquefy together with the molecules of water. Let us lose our solid and stubborn beliefs and embrace a variable reality that makes uncertainty its wonder. Liquid Arsenal exhorts an attitude of openness toward all limits, to a way of life that bases its nature on the question, in the discovery and constant assimilation of new elements and new ideas. Art, on the other hand, is perhaps the most suitable language for the achievement of this conduct: not very prone to regulations, excluded from every preconception and every programmed intervention, the artistic epiphany emerges as a magmatic fluid from the inner self of the artist, showing itself to the eyes of the world. Yet, the concept of art has always been correlated with the concept of memory and stability in time, of the solid imprint of the human being in the flow of events. How then, can the gestures of artistic elaboration be considered the preferred alphabet to tell this new reality? Liquidity does not coincide with absolute oblivion and the negation of all forms: there is the Lete, the river of oblivion, but there is also the Eunoè, Dante’s torrent that flows close to the Lete. The Eunoè is the river of memory, of the indelible past of a lived experience, a fluid trace of the lives that follow one another in our reality. Art, like Eunoè, is a granitic trace of human making and, at the same time, a smoky mirror of the continuous fluidity, of the perpetual flow of our existences and ideals. READ THE FULL CONCEPT HERE.
LIQUID ARSENAL mixed reality international exhibition, broadcasted from Milan and Fuerteventura until June 3, 2022, and also visible in the metaverse on the spatial.io platform: https://bit.ly/3agYO9d