‘Palestine: Rooted Like an Olive Tree’ honors past while inspiring present

From the symbols of the Palestinian resistance, local artists find ways to show solidarity through their talents

WhatsApp Image 2024-01-13 at 3.28.11 PM (3)
(Photos: Foresight32 Art Gallery)
Israel’s war on Gaza has turned many people in the Kingdom to take many forms of showing solidarity, whether through protests, art, or awareness on social media, everyone is showing up to do their part. اضافة اعلان

A recent exhibition at Foresight32 Art Gallery entitled “Palestine: Rooted Like an Olive Tree”, which ends on January 25, 2024, has dedicated not only its space to showcase local talent but also taking a portion of the proceeds that will be donated to Gaza through the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO).

Reminding artgoers that the war did not start on October 7, 2023, it highlights various points of view and timelines, showcasing the ongoing occupation including the Sabrah and Shatila Massacre, the first Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008, and the displacement of Palestinian refugees, among many others.

Participating in the exhibition, artist Raed Qatanani, a graduate of Fine Arts from Damascus University, told Jordan News, “Art sometimes conveys, documents, and highlights aspects that are not covered by media.”

“In my opinion, the most important mission of a Palestinian artist is to keep the Palestinian cause in the minds of future generations, just like the way we learned about the cause through different artworks of popular generations,” Qatanani added.

Show Album

Qatanani had his first exhibition in Jordan in 2015, in addition, he held seven personal exhibitions and participated in more than 200 group exhibitions so far. He also participated in international exhibitions. “Other than my personal work, all my paintings are about my homeland, Palestine,” he stated.

He described his favorite painting, which is inspired by Mahmoud Darwish’s poem “In Wait for Returnees.” He explained, “The work stems from the idea of travelling, as travelers cover their furniture before leaving the country, and when they decide to return home, their relatives take those covers off finally! And the painting shows this woman uncovering the whole city waiting for the returnees,” leaving it for the visitors to look for the symbol behind it, which in my opinion the woman represents Palestine while waiting for its people to return to their homeland.

Another painting signifies the six Palestinian detainees who escaped the prison “Gilboa Prison break” by digging a hole just using spoons. Commenting on his painting, Qatanani said “The spoon has become an icon of resistance and freedom”, explaining that the “cactus and figs shown on the sides of the fugitive were all the six of them had been eating before they were arrested again.”

Dalia Ali, a Jordan-based artist told Jordan News “I was born in diaspora, and one of the means to connect with my homeland, Palestine, is through the art exhibitions. I mainly paint for Jerusalem city, in addition to Nablus, Jenin, Jaffa, Akko… this way I also explore the beauty of my country that I never got the chance to visit.”

Ali also said, “My passion to discover and sense the beauty of Palestine kept me going in this project, all of this while I am away from it, imagine if I am living in the heart of my homeland!”

She described a painting of Akko that was featured at the exhibition. “It is made of collage,” she said “I always use this technique underneath the painting, including collages of newspaper, some of them are old newspapers from Jerusalem, as well as writing papers and any paper to get its texture to reflect the history, the story, the news, and the conversations among people in the cities of Palestine.”

“I loved this painting in particular because you can see the mosques and churches across the sea from Akko city,” she pointed out.

Daniella Abuasal, a visitor of the exhibition, in an interview with Jordan News, said, “I had an interest in art since I was six years old, so I decided to take it further as a career and a way of living. Art is life, and a means of conveying political, economic, or social messages.”

“When the artist highlights a political issue through their paintings, they urge the decision makers to take action,” she added “In this exhibition, we saw the works of artists who embodied the current crisis of Gaza”, conveying a message that art is not only about beauty, but also a mean to strengthen the historical connection.”

Show Album

She stated, “I think the exhibition has been a real success, and the turnout was amazing since the participating artists used the power of art in showing the traditions that the West is trying to make us forget about.”

Abuasal also commented on a painting by the deceased artist Adnan Yahya “The artist painted what looks like a mass grave, picking grim colors to indicate the huge suffering and misery experienced by people in that war, Israeli’s attack on Gaza in 2008.”

Moreover, she said “This painting represents a document conveying the war as is, so that your eyes move directly to the message intended by it. It is a massacre of the Palestinian people, who are currently experiencing a genocide.”

Abuasal expressed her pride in the participating artists to show the world the true face of the genocide.  

Read more Culture and Arts
Jordan News