June 2, 2021 - July 1, 2021
| Between the Walls|
The art of resistance.
In the midst of Zionist aggression across Palestine, the world has seen solidarity and mass mobilization for Palestinian liberation. In response to this growing injustice and human rights violation and through the prism of popular resistance, the Contemporary Art Platform has organized an exhibition “Between the Walls” showcasing Palestinian political art in an action against recent events and the ongoing 73 year occupation.
“Between the Walls” includes a number of pieces by Palestinian artists, as well as some Arab artists, who have dealt with Palestine in their artworks touching on themes of nostalgia, references of aggression and reactions to the atrocities experienced under the Occupation.
Art is one of the great forms of expression and has helped these artists communicate their thoughts, feelings and reality. Through the pieces in this exhibition we can experience frustration and disillusion but also perseverance and hope.
Abdul Hay Mosallam, Abduljalil AlShareefi, Abdulrahman Katanani, Abdul Wahab AlAwadhi, Ahmed Abu Al Adas, Alfred Tarazi, Aya Haidar, Bashar AlHroub, Carlos Aires, Choauki Choukini, Dia Azzawi, Hani Zurob, Hazem Harb, Laila Shawa, Larissa Sansour, Makeshift 48(Tareq Qaddoumi & Dawood Al Awadh), Mary Tuma, Mohammad Sharaf, Mohammed Joha, Naji Al-Ali, Peter Harrap, Reza Aramesh, Saad Hamdan, Samer Mohdad, Sami Mohammed, Sliman Mansour, Steve Sabella, Thuraya Al Baqsami, Wafa Hourani.
Aya Haidar graduated with a BA in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art, during which she completed an exchange program at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She then went on to graduate with an MSc in NGOs and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
International solo and group exhibitions include Cubitt (London), Art Berlin Contemporary (Germany), Athr Gallery (Jeddah), Bischoff Weiss (London), New Art Exchange (Nottingham), Jeddah 21,39 (KSA), Mosaic Rooms (London), Casa Arabe (Madrid), FIAC (Paris), Art Dubai (UAE), Abu Dhabi Art (UAE), Art Istanbul (Turkey).
Aya has been involved in numerous social engagement projects, including Mosaic Rooms’ Together Apart: Lockdown Diaries, INIVA's A Place for Conversation, V&A's Record, Resist, Reframe, Tate's Illuminating Cultures program and INIVA’s Emotional Learning Cards, as well as being selected for Hans Ulrich Obrist and Hoor Al Qasemi’s Do It Arab project (2016).
Artist Residencies include Deveron projects (Aberdeenshire) and Cubitt Arts (London).
Publications include, De Fil En Aiguille by Charlotte Vannier, Tribe Magazine, Art of the Middle East, Modern and Contemporary Art from the Middle East and Iran by Saeb Eigner, Harper's Bazaar Art Arabia, The National, Contemporary Practices and ELLE Magazine.
Aya Haidar currently lives and works in London.
Hani Zurob is a Palestinian artist, born in 1976 in Rafah camp (Gaza). In 1994 he moved to Nablus where he graduated in 1999 with a B.A. of Fine Arts at the University Al-Najah. He then settled in Ramallah until 2006, where he received a grant that allowed him to reside in Paris at the Cité Internationale des Arts. Hani was unable to return to his homeland. Today he lives in France, creating works that explore the state of exile, waiting, movement and displacement. His work presents Palestine through a personal perspective and conceptual context that transcends borders and geography—concepts that remain close to the painter’s heart.
“Hani’s practice provides an important voice in contemporary Palestinian culture, as well as a significant contribution to the creation of an Arab aesthetic. Ultimately though, while Zurob’s art gives powerful expression to the Palestinian collective experience, it can also be seen in the context of more universal themes of personal identity and embraces humanity beyond the Palestinian context”.
Black Dog Publishing, London 2012.
In Palestine, Hani had staged many solo exhibitions and he was a finalist in the A. M. Qattan Foundation Young Artist Award 2002, Ramallah. In 2009 Zurob was granted the Renoir prize (Bourse et Prix Renoir).
His work is found in private and public collections including in the Arab American National Museum (AANM), Dearborn, Michigan; WAH center (Williamsburg Art & Historical center), New York; Association Renoir, France; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; Mairie de Paris, Hôtél de Ville, Paris; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Contemporary Art Platform (CAP), Kuwait; A. M. Qattan Foundation, London-Ramallah; Birzeit University Museum, Birzeit, Palestine; Ramzi Dalloul Collection, Lebanon, and George Michael Al Ama Collection, Palestine.
A monograph tracing the development of his work, “Between Exits: Paintings By Hani Zurob” by Kamal Boullata was published by Black Dog Publishing, London, November 2012.
Sami Mohammad (b. 1943) is a Kuwaiti artist and sculptor considered one of the pioneers of cultural and artistic movements in Kuwait and throughout the region. He’s best known for his bronze sculptures and for addressing themes related to humanity and human suffering. One of the leading founders of the Free Atelier in Kuwait, his continuous dedication to his work helped push the boundaries of society and greatly contribute to the artistic history of the Arab world.
His interest in sculpture started at a young age, when he would create forms and animals out of the mud traditionally used to build houses in Kuwait. He continued to pursue his artistic interest and in 1966 he received a grant from the Kuwaiti government to further his artistic studies in Cairo, Egypt. In Cairo he learned techniques used by great masters such as Rodin, and was significantly inspired with all the sculptures he experienced there. In 1974 he travelled to New Jersey, USA where he learned advanced techniques in sculpting, casting and molding. After graduating, he returned to Kuwait where he continued his practice methodically and meticulously.
His first notable sculptures were of the Kuwaiti Emirs Sheikh Abdallah Al Salem and Sheikh Sabah Al Salem as well as other commemorative pieces commissioned by the Kuwaiti government. He continued working and exhibiting relentlessly, always moving forward and developing not only as an artist, but also by supporting his peersand encouraging the cultural scene as a whole. In 2015, he had his first Retrospective, received the Kuwait State Appreciation Award, and had books of his life and work included the US Library of Congress.
His work was featured in the Kuwaiti Pavilion of the 55th Venice Biennale and he has exhibited internationally and throughout the Arab region. He is one of the first Kuwaiti artists to sell his work in Christie’s, has won numerous awards and his artwork forms part of various public and private collections.
Joha was born in Gaza - Palestine in 1978 and currently lives and works between Paris and Italy.
He graduated in Art Education from Al-Aqsa University in Gaza in 2003. same year he participated in a workshop residency in Darat Al Funun, Khalid Shoman Foundation in Amman-Jordan, supervised by artist Marwan Kassab Bacchi. In 2004, he was the winner of the A. M. Qattan Foundation s "Hassan Al Hourani Young Artist Award", when he was elected Artist of the Year 2004. This allowed him to reside in the “Cité Internationale des Arts” in Paris in 2005 and 2008, where he develops and strengthens his artistic personality. Besides being selected for international workshops and residencies, he has participated in exhibitions worldwide. Joha has been working in the field of painting and has gathered a remarkable artistic experience.
He is one of the most interesting artists from Gaza-Palestine, who stands out by a very elaborate personal style of painting, a masterly combination of various artistic elements in his compositions, and most sophisticated messages. Through mixed techniques of painting, collages, installation, together with a most spontaneous, expressive style, much of his work has explored the questions and conditions of childhood and the loss of innocence and freedom experienced by generations of children in Palestine. The overcoming of physical and psychological barriers imposed by conflict; revolutionary social and political events; resilience and identity are recurrent themes. The closer his works are examined, the more complex they become, in texture, content, and narrative. These multilayered, transformed representations of reality leave room for imagination and interpretation, because they are inspired by universal values and reflect the memory of a collective entity, without being bound to cultural restrictions or temporary or local individualistic gestures.
Shihadi represents the third generation in this exhibition. With pencil and charcoal, she addresses the daily personal and social challenges that women face, at home and beyond. Her exceptional drawing skills reach another level of precision, subtlety and emotion.
Steve Sabella, born 1975 in Jerusalem, Palestine, is a Berlin-based artist and author of the award-winning memoir The Parachute Paradox. Sabella has a degree from the Musrara School of Photography in Jerusalem, and then received a BA in Visual Studies at Empire State College of the State University of New York. Through a Chevening Scholarship he earned an MA in photographic studies at the University of Westminster, London, graduating with a Caparo Award of Distinction. The next year, through a Saïd Foundation Scholarship, he earned his second MA in art business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. In 2008, Sabella received the Ellen Auerbach Award from the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.
Since the late 1990’s Sabella has exhibited extensively worldwide, including eleven solo shows in Palestine. His work is held in international collections such as the British Museum in London, the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, as well as in several private collections.
Mohammad Sharaf is a Kuwaiti designer with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Graphic Design and an MFA in Design. The foundation of his work stems from principles in graphic design; where elements such as colour, composition, attention to detail and underlying messages, are brought together to create captivating and effective visual representations of his ideas. After working with various practices of design, Sharaf has come to specialize in creating visual identity systems and editorial design. In 2011 he started Visual Reactions, a series of works used to communicate his thoughts and initiate conversations on the rising issues in the Middle East. Another prominent work was a public art intervention in response to a list of banned books in Kuwait entitled Cemetery of Banned Books. Sharaf continues to expand in his use of mediums, creating elegant, powerful and thought-provoking visuals alongside themes that reflect on current society.
Visual artist Hazem Harb was born in Palestine in 1980. Always referring to his own Palestinian identity, takes a research-driven approach, moving beyond the limitations of verbal language and photojournalism to create a physical representation of multifaceted social issues. His collages examine the nuances and problems surrounding shifting borders, displacement and diaspora. Intelligent, philosophical, and visually impactful Harb’s creative process reflects the artist’s commitment to making a real connection with his collective past while resisting its systematic erasure.
The artist works in an underlying register, his works primarily concerned with the historical past of his country and its place in the current day. Harb’s use of collage allows him to construct a discourse that did not previously exist or was at least hidden. The artist imbeds old photographs and archival objects within his works, often rare pieces of the past that he cuts and inserts into conceptual compositions. Both the result and the approach relay a hidden story, the use of genuine historical sources summoning the past to the present - a solution proposed by Harb to reaffirm and reestablish the cultural and physical existence of his people.
Amongst his accolades, Harb has been awarded residency at The Delfina Foundation, London; Cite des Arts, Paris; and Satellite, Dubai. In 2008, he was shortlisted for the A.M Qattan Young Artist of The Year award. His work has been collected by numerous institutions, internationally, including: The British Museum, Sharjah Art Foundation, Centre Pompidou, The Oriental Museum (Durham University), Salsali Private Museum, LACMA, Faurschou Foundation Copenhagen, Al Qattan Foundation, and Contemporary Art Platform: CAP Kuwait.