Areeq: Patriotism and belonging in art

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(Photo: Facebook)
Areeq, an art exhibition by Sereen Al-Khasawneh depicting Jordanian and Palestinian cities and natural landscapes, was held at Arar Cultural House in Irbid on Saturday. اضافة اعلان

(Photo: Layan Taifour/Jordan News)

Areeq is an Arabic word meaning ancient and majestic, qualities that were visible throughout Khasawneh’s collection. The artwork was based on a mixed media style, which makes use of collages, assemblages, altered books, wet and dry media, and found object art.

Several of Khasawneh’s pieces combined clippings and prints of Jordanian and Palestinian photographs taken in various regions.

(Photos: Omar Atiyat)

The Areeq collection revolves around the theme of patriotism. In an interview with Jordan News, the artist expressed her “love for Jordan and Palestine and their cultures, histories, heritage, and antiquities” and emphasized the “need to capture their beauty and aesthetics” in her art.

The location of the art exhibition in Irbid follows the Ministry of Culture’s endeavors to expand Jordan’s art scene beyond Amman. The event was attended by the director of the Irbid Cultural Center, Aqel Al-Khawaldeh, and several artists, including Mohammad Khear Deebajah, Omar Atiyat, and Mohammad Sobuh.

Importance of art
Surrealist artist Omar Atiyat, an art instructor at the Institute of Fine Arts, highlighted the social importance of art and art exhibitions during an interview with Jordan News at the exhibit.

(Photos: Omar Atiyat)

Art, he said, is a medium through which societies can communicate their inner thoughts and perspectives, as well as a means for artists to express their personal perspectives.

Within art, colors and patterns act as an expression of the human mind, he said. By exploring the nuances of art, Atiyat noted, we are provided a historical perspective on society, access to cultural antiquities, and a window into individual artists’ ideas.

(Photo: Layan Taifour/Jordan News)

Those unique perspectives, according to the artist, can be contradictory to those of society as a whole.

Art exhibitions provide a mirror for society, giving viewers a perspective on the world around them and expanding their understanding of culture by allowing them to see it through the artist’s eyes and mind, said Atiyat.

The artist
Khasawneh graduated from Yarmouk University with a bachelor of arts and received an Interior Design Diploma from the University of Jordan. She currently works as the head of the Fine Arts Department at the Institute of Fine Arts.

Concerning her journey as an artist, she stated that she has taken many different artistic routes to expand her capabilities. Her first introduction to the world of art was drawing cartoon characters. Then, she moved to realistic portraits and depictions of nature.

As a young artist, she participated in numerous school competitions.

(Photos: Omar Atiyat)

Then, at one point in her journey, she decided to enhance her talent by taking further academic courses on art. These studies ranged from realism and oil painting to abstract art and mixed media, which eventually became her preferred style.

(Photo: Facebook)

Aside from her work as an artist, Khasawneh hopes to make a difference in the lives of those around her. She has participated in many voluntary workshops, including a mural initiative for the Theodore Schneller School for Orphans, a workshop at the Jordanian Academy for Autism, and a workshop for child patients at Al-Bashir Hospital.

She has also contributed to Dhana Creative Camp and several international fairs.

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