Recent Exhibitions


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“Feelings” Exhibition

 25-4-2015 until  16/5/2015

The gallery of umm al-Fahem Gallery presents a solo exhibition called “feelings” of the artist Mohamed Walid, the resident of Umm al-Fahem. The exhibition opening was attended by hundreds of residents of Umm al-Fahem and the region, in addition to a group of Jewish artists.

The exhibition includes more than a hundred paintings speak of dialogue and love, and a joint meeting between humans.





 six solo exhibition

28/1/2015 – 31/4/2015

A Single Continuum

Curator: Carmit Blumensohn

Fatma Shanan’s works resonate with personal, familial, historical, cultural, and religious memories. Her paintings raise personal questions concerning one’s place in the personal, familial, social, and communal sphere, as well as social and political questions concerning otherness and difference, contrasts and identity, and the obsessive search for what is familiar, known, and safe.

The concern with the image of the carpet is a means of exploring the complex identity of a young Druze woman born in Israel, where Jewish society is generally characterized by a lack of openness to difference and to the other. By means of her concern with the image of the carpet and its integration into the lived sphere she depicts in her paintings, Shanan attends to the complex processes that construct her identity. This identity is woven out of values, ideologies, social codes and traditions, a sense of belonging, aspirations and dreams. Her art transforms

the presence of the carpet into a central theme, while showcasing a display of deeply moving beauty. This is her tactic for luring the viewer into her world.

These carpets represent a multi-cultural encounter that gives expression to the connection between tradition and innovation, East and West, Islam, the Druze religion, and Judaism, art and craft, tradition and the avant-garde. Throughout the Mediterranean basin, carpets weave a web of meanings and represent local traditions of hospitality; they may be associated with effacement, rejection, and concealment, since whatever is not agreed upon is metaphorically swept under the carpet; alternately, everything one is proud of is flaunted upon their surfaces.

Shanan does not transform her paintings into carpets, but rather represents carpets within them as distinct painterly images. Each painting is thus transformed into a weave whose quality as a “carpet” is similarly revealed when the painted image is a landscape, an olive tree, a floor, a pair of jeans, or a blouse worn by a girl lying on the floor. The brushstrokes flicker and dance together with the local light, which is present in all of her paintings. The earth, and the sky, the landscape are all familiar signifiers charged with a sense of home and belonging.

A carpet offers an invitation to dwell; it is a sphere of containment, an extension of the idea of home as opposed to the external sphere. During weddings and family celebrations, carpets are spread out over the nearby road to mark the location of the celebration. Carpets are similarly spread out in the courtyard to mark places for rest. Wherever it is spread out, the carpet constitutes stable base.

The dense, fleshy, sensual colors of Shanan’s canvases define them as a space of reflection. Color becomes a power in its own right, transforming the various existential components of the works into a single continuum and taking on a personal, autonomous character shaped by the artist’s love of painting. The images become abstract only if the viewer is willing to move beyond their mimetic role, beyond the figurative representations that anchor them, enabling them to be born and take off. From this point on, the sky is the limit, and the carpet – regardless of whether it flies into the heavens or remains affixed to the earth, constitutes a path, a trajectory, an entire world.




‘Aida Nasralla

Karim Abu Shakra: the Unity of Human Being, Nature and Animals

“I had a wonderful childhood. Like other children of my age at that time, I used to spend my free time hiking in nature; I loved hunting, especially the black redstart birds, and I also loved fishing. The wonderful, complex moments of that time were when the fish was caught on the fish hook. I used to look at the fish fighting for its life, almost dead.”

Karim Abu Shakra presents scenes that include a unique combination between three elements: the human being, the nature and the animals. The Sabra plants, the birds, the fish and the animals are eminent in the paintings presented at this exhibition, introducing an autobiographical expression of the artist. In the aforementioned citation, the artist gives expression to an important philosophical idea: the unity of the human being, the nature and the animals, as in an equation that joins together the sky, the sea and the land.

It should be noted that Abu Shakra never plans where to locate these creatures in advance; they are intertwined associatively, as a part of the image reservoir of his childhood. In some of the paintings we can see a peculiar bird whose contours are blurred and which is located in an undefined place,  or fish floating in amorphous space. Due to no specific reference to their location, these animals seem detached from reality.

Abu Shakra’s interweaving of subjects and symbols in his paintings is an expression of his inner world, a world he controls by symbols taken from the external world, such as the fish, the bird and the Sabra plant; it is evident that the artist’s experiences are related to these symbols and their meanings, and they all rise from the depths of the artist’s memory. These memories rise back to the surface in a sort of poetic style, without interpretation.

, Abu Shakra’s artworks can be considered as his autobiographies, as he himself notes:

   “I paint without thinking and without planning what I’m going to paint. The painting’s theme stems from within me, but before I start painting I try to collect my memories. It’s important to say that I observe meticulously each and every bud or rock around me, and I sometimes enter a meditative state; for example, when I stare at the Sabra leaf for hours. And when I paint I notice nothing but my painting. Perhaps you can compare me to other artists that I either know or don’t know. Each thing that I see – I do not paint it until I feel it and it becomes a part of me, and all you see is a part of who I am.”

The notion of Unity of Man and Nature is reflected in the painting through the combination of what the artist sees through his eyes and what is happening inside him, thus creating a painting which is a part of his own body.

Karim’s inclination to continue painting the Sabra plant – a theme that occupied Asim Abu Shakra – can be considered as an expression of the influential encounter he had with Asim’s art and its impact on him; just like the impression that other experiences connected to hunting and nature made upon him, and which are also expressed in his current exhibition.