Friday, June 18, 2010

Journeying home

As the new art editor of Time Out Beirut, I have to be on the ball when it comes to local artists and exhibitions. It's a task made very easy by the diversity of exciting work being produced here - and if not here, then elsewhere by artists of Lebanese origin. Such as Helen Zughaib.
Walking into Agial Art Gallery between the American University of Beirut (AUB) and Hamra Street this week, I was instantly wowed by Helen's very colourful and funky works. It was the patterns and colours that struck me first, but the subject matter became just as fascinating upon closer inspection. Helen (like many other Lebanese) left Lebanon for the States at the age of 16, in 1975 when the civil war began. This exhibition marked her first return to her homeland since then, and speaks of the bittersweet journey in between. The exhibition is called Journey Home and Back Again.
If you ignore the hijabs, the pictures remind me of my mom - a very spirited Lebanese woman no longer living in the country that made her so colourful, but who might not have been as colourful had she not moved away.

Women against the night.

Meshwar (journey).

Coming to America.

Baalbeck Dabki (Baalbeck is an area and the dabki is a traditional Lebanese dance).

Abaya 2.

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