New Exhibition: Mintarat Al-Batten

Walid Abu Shakra                          

A retrospective in two parts 

A Collaboration between the Umm el-Fahem Art Gallery & the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Walid Abu Shakra, born in Umm el-Fahem (1946) is one of the most important Palestinian artists. He began his artistic career in Israel in the 1960s and 1870s, before moving to England, where he studied the art of etching. As a result of the strong bond that developed in recent years between the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Umm el-Fahem Art Gallery and thanks to the support of the late Prof. Moti Omer, a two-part  exhibitions are about to open – one part in the museum and the other in the gallery – each showcasing works from different periods of the artist’s career.

Mintart Al-Batten – Walid Abu Shakra’s wroks from the 60’s and 70’s

Curator: Farid Abu Shakra

Openning at the Umm el-Fahem Art Gallery: Saturday, 24 December 2011 at 12:00


Mintara Al-Batten – Walid Abu Shakra’s works from the 80’s

Curators: Irith Hadar and Farid Abu Shakra

Opening at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art: Thursday, 5 January 2012 at 18:00


The retrospective exhibition of the artist Walid Abu Shakra is divided into two different periods of his life. One features works he made after completing his studies in 1973 at the Avni Institute; the other begins in 1977, when he completed his studies in Etching inEngland. The exhibition is an outgrowth of the marvelous friendship that developed over the years between the late Prof. Moti Omer and Walid Abu Shakra, the artist, and the decision to mount it was taken before Prof. Omer passed away.

Walid Abu Shakra, who was born in Umm el-Fahem in 1946, was one of the first Arab-Israeli artists to study Art. Even while studying in Tel Aviv and also early in his career as an artist, Abu Shakra expressed his longing for the village where he was born, for his family and for the olive tree landscape. He was the first to return to the area with a camera, to photograph the almond and olive groves and the village elders. He photographed and documented the landscape of his childhood, as though expecting that a new time would come and everything would change in the blink of an eye.

Unfortunately for Abu Shakra, his prophecy was fulfilled, and the population explosion which resulted in Umm el-Fahem’s expansion, also caused the picturesque vistas that once could be seen from every window and house in the village, to disappear. Abu Shakra’s drawings and photos remain the sole testament of the landscape of Umm el-Fahem and the village’s way of life prior to the great change.

Early in the 1970s, Abu Shakra traveled toLondon, where be began immersing himself in the art of etching. The sense of alienation he felt while living inEnglandcaused him to devote himself totally to the scenery of his homeland. Working obsessively, he etched his childhood memories onto copper plates, naming every tree, plot of land and hill, as they had been etched into his mind before he departed from home.

The name “Mintarat Al-Batten” is familiar to everyone who lived in Umm el-Fahem in the 1960. The words refer to an old watchtower point atop a hill that is a well-know part of the northern landscape, a point Abu Shakra has longed for all the time he has lived in England.

For more images of Walid Abu Shakra’s works please click on the image below –

Walid Abu Shakra – Works 1967-1989