A collective show by five Palestinian artists from Al dakhel (Interior), Roots of Identity presents three generations of artists living the duality of their deep Palestinian roots and their Israeli citizenship , hence a sense of displacement on their own land.
Works by Abed Abdi, Michael Hallak, Fouad Aghbaria, , Karim Abu Shakra and Samah Shihadi exposed their personal expression of identity, together creating a mosaic impression of life for Al Dakhel Palestinians.
Themes of memory, loss, resilience and hope emerged across the artists’ canvas merging different artistic approaches under a core universal theme : Identity .
Abed Abdi has been a pillar of the development and recognition of Al Dakhel contemporary art and of the creation of a new collective memory within his community . The exhibited black and white works using various techniques are all strong imagery of the Palestinian struggle.
Hallak’s conceptual works move along the frontier of hyper-realism . The painted plasters on his canvas convey strong feelings of obstruction. The perfectly executed works depicting toy boxes are almost real and reflect memories of lost cities.
Abu Shakra’s distorted portraits, in which his subjects’ faces are concealed beneath bandage-like webs of colour are juxtaposed to striking still lives of cacti, plants that symbolize resilience in Palestinian culture.
Aghbaria likewise depicted cacti in his work, along with the olive tree, long a symbol of fertile Palestine. His pointillist paintings reflect on the sacred ties between Palestinians and their land , exploring themes of roots and belonging.
Shihadi’s sketches stood out for their photorealist approach. A series of monochrome portraits critiques patriarchal customs conflicting with a westernized society .Her delicate works captured women with scarfs draped loosely over their hair or tightening their mouth , suggesting an internal struggle between covering and revealing.
Exhibition is in collaboration with Rula Alami.