Wajha

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A facade done by Wajha

Wajha is an independent social initiative that uses design and branding knowledge to help small businesses by offering free graphic design services.
Taking its name from the Arabic word for ‘facade’, Wajha’s design work mostly takes place on shopfronts. By bringing design into the public arena, the work aims to create a shared experience around these focus points.

They are making a difference!

The project offers support to the community. They apply creative interventions where they are needed. This is especially important in a culture where ‘design’ as a concept is not a priority. In many communities it is an unaffordable privilege, and therefore almost completely absent.
They create innovative artwork on view for everyone. Wajha uses the city’s facades as an empty canvas for experiments in typography, illustration, and graphic design.
They aim to redefine and reshape the city’s identity through signage design.

Wajha hopes to stimulate the local community to talk more about ‘design’ and to use social networking to respond to these creative interventions.

The People Behind it:
Hussein Alazaat and Ali Almasri founded Wajha in 2012. Both are typography experts and graphic designers who live in Amman.

The Wajha duo will present their story and share the experience and process that every project undergoes. at a Workshop/Seminar on September 9th 2013 which will be taking part in Art Week Amman. There will be a small discussion about the current situation of local signage, and how signage systems use commercial fonts versus calligraphy and lettering. Finally, the Wajha team will present a detailed demonstration of the process for each project they’ve completed so far. Which will be taking  the Workshop/Seminar 9 September 2013 which will also be taking part in Art Week Amman. 

Children of Gaza

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Artwork by Dia Azzawi

Orient Gallery at AWA 2013:
Children of Gaza by Dia Azzawi, Anthony Dawton and Jim McFarlane

“Children of Gaza” is an exhibition on the power of imagery and the persistence of hope.

After the Israeli incursion of Gaza in December 2008 Anthony Dawton, Jim McFarlane & Giuseppe Aquili entered Gaza with the support of Save the Children to photograph what they saw. Inspired by the images, Dia Azzawi has produced six original prints to accompany the exhibition.All proceeds will be donated to Save the Children in Gaza. Children of Gaza is facilitated by Q0DE_ Exhibitions.

Dia Azzawi

Dia Azzawi  is a globally recognised artist, whose art work belongs to collections around the world including the Vienna Public Collection, The World Bank, the Library of Congress, Institut du Monde Arabe, the British Museum and many others.

Anthony Dawton

Anthony Dawton is winner of the Fuji Industrial World photographer of the year. His work in Niger was selected for the Sony World Photographic Awards at Cannes in 2009.

Jim McFarlane

Jim McFarlane is an Australian based photographer who has worked commercially for over 25 years. He is the recipient of the Melbourne Art Director’s Club award and the Oriental Fine Print award. Currently Jim is teaching art photography at Australia’s leading art college Deakin University, Melbourne.

Colorful Thoughts

Blues

Artwork by Ghassan Abu Laban

Orient Gallery at AWA 2013:
Colorful Thoughts

Colorful Thoughts showcases a wide range of visual ideas, diverse treatments, and varied artistic styles presented by the artists we so proudly collaborate with. This exhibition aims at presenting the different visual sensibilities which can emerge from a single theme. In it one sees different lines of thought and various interpretations of one thought taking shape.  Each piece speaks its own language, and can be understood without an interpreter and related to without a mediator through a universal language that transcends borders, geography and time. And this falls within Orient Gallery’s vision of fostering unique, inexplicable connections between a canvas and an open-minded viewer.

Ayman Gharaibeh

Ayman Naser Gharaibeh was born in 1974 in Jordan, In 1996 he received his BA in fine arts At Yarmouk University in Irbid. He is currently an art instructor at MSS Schools in Amman and is an illustrator for educational books published by the Ministry of Education, and Wessam Magazine published by the Ministry of Culture. In 1996 he was awarded the first prize at the International Drawing Competition for Students Artists at Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia-U.S.A. He has participated in several solo and groups exhibitions in Jordan.

Georges Bassil

Georges Bassil is a Lebanese painter based in Beirut but currently residing in Jordan. Born in Beirut in 1965, Bassil is a self-educated artist, painter and creator of jewels. His artistic career started in Beirut in 1996. In 1999 he received the bronze medal and a diploma of honor at the third Biennial of Plastic Art of Lattaquieh-Syria.

He exhibited in Montreal, Monaco, Paris, Nice and London. His lyrical paintings of intimate encounters are captivating. His work is noted for the powerful presence of his timid subjects and daring often controversial depiction of humans exposed nakedly and indifferent to the viewer’s curiosity. Eyes, the window to the soul, also invade his paintings impregnated once with softness and happiness, once with pain and sorrow.

Ghassan Abu Laban

Ghassan Abu Laban was born in 1964, Bethlehem, Jordan. In 1988 he received his BFA in painting and drawing at Yarmouk University, Jordan. He is currently a private instructor of drawing and painting as well as an art critic. He has held several solo exhibitions in Jordan and has participated in several group exhibitions all over the region and the world.

Hilda Hiary

Hilda Hiary is an artist whose work demand contemplation of its unique qualities. She lives and works in her native Jordan but is also a cosmopolitan global citizen and very widely traveled since she was a child and has exhibited at very important venues including recent exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia and Middle East.  Over the years, her prolific presence and persistence has vaulted her to the top of a select group of female artists emerging into global space from the specific cultural environments of their Middle Eastern origins.

Jamal Abdul Rahim

Jamal Abdul Rahim is a multi-talented, multi-tasking creative artist with a love for sculpture.  It is difficult to explain what Jamal Abdul Rahim means to art. He is an oil painter, a print-maker artist and a sculpture-artist. His gifted talent and disciplined self development encourages many to challenge themselves creatively. Jamal is one of the most established and highly regarded contemporary artists of Bahrain, exhibiting his work extensively in Europe and the Middle East. The award-winning artist builds his art from the influence of rich Arab civilization, its mythology, religion and language.

Jihad Al Ameri

Jehad Al-Ameri was born in Jordan in 1977, and is currently working on his PhD in Fine Arts at the University of Granada, Spain. He earned his Master’s degree in Fine Arts from Al Yarmouk University in Jordan in 2010, and his BA in Fine Arts from Baghdad University in 2002.  The artist has participated in more than fifty group exhibitions both inside and outside Jordan. Among others,  Al Ameri is a member of the Jordanian Plastic Artists Association. These days, he lives and works between Amman and Granada.

Khaled Al Khani

Khaled Al Khani studied art in Hama, in Syria graduating in 1991. In 1998 he graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Damascus in oil painting. In 2000 he graduated with a higher degree from the same school in oil painting as well. His works are displayed in Damascus Museum as well as all over the region and in some European countries. He has participated in several solo exhibitions and group shows since 1993.

Mohammad AL Amiri

Mohammad AL Amiri is a Jordanian artist and poet who until recently was head of the Jordanian Plastic Arts Association. He is also a member of the Jordanian Art Critics Association, the Jordanian Writers Association and the Arab Writers Union.  Since 1983 Amiri has held 15 solo exhibitions all over Jordan and participated in many local, regional and international exhibitions. In 2006 he was awarded the first price at the Teheran Biennale and in 2007 his artworks were part of Christies’ International Auction in Dubai.

Mohammad Tamimi

A Jordanian artist born in Peters-Burg, Russia in 1988.  Mohammad has a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Philadelphia University and lives in Amman.  He presents mysterious visual approaches through a family looking in its ambiguous presence for a human childhood and tries to return to its innocent past.  The characters in his paintings are featured in an interior and exterior elderly.

Yassin Mohammadawi

Yassin Mohammadawi was born and raised in Iraq. He was awarded the first prize in the annual comprehensive exhibition in Iraq . In 1983 he was granted a scholarship to Italy. Between the years 1983-1989 he obtained his BA in Fine Arts from Cardiff College, University of Wales, and his Postgraduate Diploma from Southampton College, England. He was a member of the Welsh and Iraqi Plastics Association .  Some of his work is exhibited at the Iraqi Museum, the Jordan National Museum, the French Military Museum, the Syrian Museum, the Ministry of Jordanian Culture, and at some Arab and Foreign Missions. Mohammad artwork is almost sculptural where he used various techniques and material including mud, clay and chemicals. Common motifs that run through his paintings are life in rural Iraq, birds, animals, children, calligraphy, and love. Mohammadawi resided in Jordan in the last 13 years of his life, where he died of cancer, at the age of 47.

Jazla Al Husseini

Jazla Al Husseini is an artist born in 1965 in Damascus. She graduated from the Superior Institute of Fine Arts in Damascus 1986 and carried through with her art career through many solo and group exhibitions in Syria and the region. Through the employment of exaggeration, specially on the Phoenician proportions of her sculptural work. Jazla embodies her diverse characters through grasping then representing her physiological and  mental states in her own way. The focus on her inner state is clearly shown through the bowed and destructed lines of her sculptures’ anatomy. Nevertheless, she manages to still leave a trace of the glory and zenith of her personality in the work, assuring its simplicity and its relevance to the reality. This is how Jazla works on strengthening the expressive and ecstatic values of any work of art, using her skillful talent in experimenting with what can be used, anyhow and anywhere

Abdul Raouf Shamoun

One of the most renowned Jordanian artists, born in Jordan in 1947. Held many solo exhibitions between 1972 and 1994. Participated in most of the group exhibitions in Jordan. Participated in international exhibitions in United Kingdom, Ukraine, Chine, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Algeria, Iraq, Oman, UAE. Has won artistic awards in the field of art, the National Encouragement Prize of Arts, 1990. The International Sharqua Bienname Prize in 1993.

Issam Tantawi

Issam Tantawi was born in Jerusalem in 1954 and resides in Jordan. An award wining photographer by profession he has recently dedicated his energy to painting. He has held several personal art exhibitions in Jordan and participated in many collective exhibitions all over the world including Tunisia, Spain, UAE, Turkey, Belgium and Indonesia.

Suheil Baddor

Syrian artist Suheil Baddor has dedicated his art in search of man’s manifestations in everyday life and in emotions. The woman lies at the very core of his art, becoming an aesthetic and human legend residing in his mind and his memory. She appears in his artwork as a supreme spirit glorified in her immortality. She is a reflection of the soil, in her abundance, in her growth, in her kindness and passion, and as the loving mother.

In his most recent work, Baddor paints the woman as one with music. She is presented in images that display the splendor of musical instruments, such as the violins and strings, leading to almost musical tones through the softness and suppleness of the lines

Hazem Al Zubi

With his circular shapes and multiple squares, Hazem Al Zubi transcends traditional form and presents an exquisite piece of art work. Recurring shapes edging in sharp contrast within circles; ceramic styled bars breaking the rhythm; a sense of harmony born from discord among the shapes. Hazem Al Zubi uses warm earthy colors entwined in shades of blue and grey. His art work induces a feeling of serenity and calm among viewers, as if permeating from magical ethereal world

Topographies: The Brush and the Chisel

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Artwork by Dina Haddadin

Ikbal

Artwork by IIkbal Shukri Tannir

Nabad Art Gallery at AWA 2013:
Topographies: The Brush and the Chisel

Two Jordanian women show recent sculptures and paintings at Nabad Art Gallery in a joint exhibition entitled, “Topographies: The Brush and the Chisel.” On 9 September – 23 October 2013
The title of the exhibition reflects an essential artistic concept common to both artists. The human and urban topographies in the works of sculptor Ikbal Shukri-Tannir and multidisciplinary artist Dina Haddadin resonate across styles and media. As a practicing architect, Dina Haddadin continues to explore the concept of the margin in the urban landscape, which she names “spaces of uncertainty,” pushing the concept further into the realm of the imagination. Seasoned sculptor Ikbal Shukri-Tannir establishes a connection with the raw stone, which she feels ‘speaks’ to her, creating human forms, faces and geometric shapes by utilizing the colour and texture of each piece of alabaster or granite for optimal aesthetic results.

Ikbal Shukri Tannir

Born in Amman, sculptor Ikbal Shukri-Tannir graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts and Advertising Design from Beirut University College in 1975, after which she pursued studies in Chinese brush painting in Taiwan, silk painting and clay sculpture in Milan, and stone sculpture in New York. After spending a few years in New York, where she participated in seven sculpture exhibitions, she moved to Dubai in 1996. Ikbal has held two solo exhibitions in Amman and Dubai, and has participated in numerous  group shows in Dubai, notably at Mondo Art Gallery between 2004 and 2010. In addition to her sculptures, which focus mainly on female forms, faces and geometric sculptures in stone, Ikbal Shukri-Tannir also paints in various media. She currently lives and works in Amman, Jordan.

Dina Haddadin

Born in 1983, Dina Haddadin obtained a B.A. in Architecture from the Jordan University of Science and Technology in 2006. Since her graduation, she has been practicing architecture at Symbiosis Design in Amman. In 2008, she attended courses at the School of Visual Arts in New York and has since held three solo exhibitions, “Monuments: A Refuge in Margins,” (2012) at Nabad Art Gallery, “Beyond Emptiness” (2011) and “Transit” (2010). Haddadin has participated in numerous group shows as well as a number of international workshops. Haddadin is a self-taught multidisciplinary visual artist who uses both traditional and experimental techniques, including installation and video, to create multi-layered works that address the concept of the ‘margins’  in the urban landscape. She lives and works in Amman, Jordan.

TRI/Angulate by Atelier Uraiqat

Artwork by Atelier Uraiqat

Jacaranda at AWA 2013:
TRI/Angulate by Atelier Uraiqat

TRI/Angulate is a parametric patterning system that was developed by Atelier Uraiqat based on a mathematical study of lines and angles. In this exhibition, they have created three-dimensional wall-mounted pieces from multi-layered paper stencils in a manner that integrates form, depth, and light.

Atelier Uraiqat is a design lab based in Amman and founded in 2009 by Basel and Basma Uraiqat. It aims at exploring possibilities in design and conceptual experimentation. Atelier Uraiqat’s work is based on an approach that combines artistic formation, theoretical research and technical innovation through the use of modern design technology and digital simulations.

Atelier Uraiqat has exhibited their designs in local exhibitions including the 2010 Sunny Art Fair and the 2012 Trendsetting III exhibition in Amman, as well as local and international media and publications.

uraiqat.blogspot.com

Time Machine: Revisiting Orientalists by Hani Hourani

Artwork by Hani Hourani

Foresight Gallery at AWA 2013:
Time Machine: Revisiting Orientalists by Hani Hourani

This exhibition re-visits photographs that were taken by the Western orientalists while visiting the Levant in the 19th century and early 20th century, reflected in modern eyes, in an attempt to link them with today’s events and movements in the region in the last two years.
He created a hybrid mix of art:different and opposite times, various topics and multiple techniques and materials.

The exhibition raises questions rather than providing answers about the past, present and future. It is a journey he takes in a “time machine”: Photography.

Hani Hourani is a Jordanian painter and photographer, known since the 1960’s for his distinctive plastic art experience. Born in Zarqa’a in 1945, Hourani began practicing art at a very early age. His artistic career was disrupted in 1967, when he decided to pursue a more political and cultural line. In 1993, Hourani emphasized his specialty by resuming his works and holding an exhibition for his water paintings, where he focused on capturing natural landscape views of Al-Waleh Valley, south of Amman.

Hourani’s outstanding contribution is mostly recognizable in photography. Since 1996, he has held thirteen solo exhibitions in a number of capitals around the world, such as Amman, Aleppo, Cairo, Doha, Gothenburg; Sweden, Washington DC; USA and the 11th International Cairo Biennale in Cairo.

Hani persisted on showcasing his photographic works since 1996 where he held around 16 solo exhibitions since then in Gutenberg Museum (Sweden), USA, Aleppo, Cairo (Egypt) and Doha (Qatar) in addition to Amman, Petra and AlSalt city. His works were also exhibited in Al Manamah Museum (Bahrain), Al Sharjah Museum (UAE) and collected by the National Fine Art Museum in Amman- Jordan. His work can be found in Le Royal Hotel Amman, Crown Plaza – Dead Sea and Movenpick Aqaba.

www.foresightartgallery.com

Art Rises: Gazan Filmmakers Tarzan & Arab

Art Rises: Gazan film makers Tarzan & Arab
By Hulya Tugcu

The struggle for sincere art is present everywhere. On one side of the world, freedom of expression is wasted by the struggle for genuineness and soul. On the other side of the world, soul and  genuineness is dampened by freedom of expression and oppression. But one thing is for sure, when it’s real, when it’s sincere, when the message wanting to be conveyed is so strong it becomes a need – it pushes through any barrier.

Meet Tarzan & Arab – real names Ahmed and Mohammed Abu Nasser – Gazan artists and twin brothers – who recognize and say that “…art as a weapon is stronger than heavy artillery. And art is the language that is closest to our hearts.” Against all odds of artistic suppression by sanctions and occupation, cultural taboos, their own government, lack of resources, experience, funding and even electricity, these brothers have harnessed their passion and want to tell the Gazan narrative, use their creative disposition and express it through film.

First inspired and encouraged by their artist and cinema-loving father then later mentored by Gazan film maker Khalil Al Mozian, the duo studied fine arts and theatre at Al Aqsa University but cinema is their “one and only passion”. So the brothers first sparked this journey by combining their love for photography, posters and visual art with their passion for film and started to create mock cinema posters – starting by using the names of Israeli operations like Defensive Shield, Cast Lead and Autumn Clouds for their “war movie” sound.

Producing film posters before making any films represents the core spirit of the two, who have a dream to see themselves on posters and to invoke that dream in others. The “idea is you look at the poster and imagine the film, but there is no film.” To use the experience around them and tell it through the lens of cinematic artistry is at the core of their efforts.

The passion for cinema combined with their life experience in Gaza has seen the brothers use this theme first in their posters, and then through creating their first short film named Colourful Journey. Wanting to tell stories of the Gazans, their suffering and every day issues, Colourful Journey represents factional infighting. Both starring in the trailer, and leveraging their similar appearances to portray the two characters in the trailer as two opposing sides that “look the same, but want to kill each other.”

The struggle that is faced in Gaza is unexplainable by an outsider, but in terms of the struggle for art, culture and self-expression, the brothers hear the same report that “people here [in Gaza] don’t have time for art, they spend all their time looking for crumbs. They say “What use is art? Art will not give you bread.””

But despite this struggle, the brothers have harnessed their passion and are well on their way as successful, genuine film makers. Nominated for this years Cannes International Film Festival, for their short film Condom Lead (embed link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Condom-lead-Coming-soon/349926005113065), a film parody of the 2008 Israeli siege named Operation Cast Lead, is about “a dream of the hope for intimacy and love in a brutal, divisive world.”  The film, although it took four years to evolve, was shot on a low-budget and in one day on location in Amman, Jordan.

When asked what advice the brothers would give to budding film makers, the response from Tarzan: “Don’t think too much about the places your film might reach. Just make your art the way you want. Art is no easy task. Be down to earth and have great ambitions, and you will get there.”

About Hulya Tugcu: Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Hulya has a background in Engineering and Project Management that is largely overshadowed by her passion for art & creativity. Currently venturing as a photojournalist for Illume Magazine and also as a blogger, photographer, aspiring graphic designer, artist and student.                           Follow Hulya on Twitter @rumi_nation

A Child, a Cat and Paper Kites by Reem Yassouf

Artwork by Reem Yassouf

Zara Gallery at AWA 2013:
A Child, a Cat and Paper Kites by Reem Yassouf

A child, a cat and paper kites; that is the kind of delicate imagery artist Reem Yassouf, presents to the viewer in her new work during Art Week Amman showcased at Zara Gallery, starting Monday, September 9th, 2013.

Yassouf seeks to comment on our living condition through whimsical representations of engineered landscapes and cubic figures. In this exhibition, the artist has chosen to focus on the figure of the child. Using children’s behavior as an indicator for social and cultural change, the artist highlights the fragility of a society’s youth and its powerful ability to act as a repository of societal tension, stress and conflict.

Inspired by local and global social turbulence, Yassouf’s art simultaneously depicts calmness and tension. This is seen in the artist’s unconventional choice of subject matter that attempts to cut through this tension by using symbolism of lightness and freedom. To Yassouf, the artist is powerless against the forces of their own context; therefore it is inevitable that the work should end up being the agent that breaks down the barrier between self-expression and reality. By exploring the intimate relationship between presence and absence, stagnancy and movement and finally the tonalities between black and white through her cubic figures, Yassouf’s work depicts a subtle social commentary of our Post-Modern reality.

Graduating in 2000 with a Fine Arts degree from University of Damascus, the Syrian born artist started her career as a jewelry designer that same year. Working with precious stones and diamonds from Syria, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, Reem attempted to create playful pieces that everyone could enjoy. Having transitioned into painting later on, Reem Yassouf never abandoned utilizing the playful to act as a powerful vessel to deliver an important message to an audience. This is the artist’s first solo show and second showcase at Zara Gallery.

www.zaragallery.org

Art and the Arab Spring

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Everyone’s eyes are focused on the Middle East. The Arab Spring has somehow been distorted into the “Arab Scrutiny” and at a time of such change, Arabs are eager for verification of a new age of enlightenment and global respect. Arab ARTISTS are eager for verification of a new age, a new season.

Due to the upheavals resulting in extra sentiment and intensified emotions, this translates itself onto the canvas with an over abundance of guilt, joy, conflict and hope. And maybe it is necessary for the world to see such strong sensations in order to relate, and truly understand the flux of change taking over the world we live in.

Take Faten Rouissi—a Tunisian artist, and activist who took note of all the burnt and damaged cars scattered around a vacant lot near her home. Choosing to make a statement, she reached out to fellow artists and turned what was once a ruin of old automobiles into artistic and hopeful testimonials of the Tunisian Revolution.

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