Painter and sculptor Ghassan Zard collaborated with Oum El Nour to create a wondrous turtle who found its way to many Lebanese studios, an animal that in its strength is symbolic of what the artist and Oum el Nour stand for. The turtle is a totemic symbol of protection and consistency, an animal protected from the obscenest of forces. It came to the artist in a dream. In an attempt to reconcile with this apparition, the artist created a series of resin turtles that he stores on the roof of his studio.
This invasion of semi-translucent turtles became something he needed to reckon with. He then began to distribute them to artists in Beirut as he thought it cathartic to have those artists make an artistic intervention upon the turtle. Nada Debs, Anastasia Nysten, Jad El Khoury, Georges Mohasseb, Roger Moukarzel, Nada Sehnaoui, Ramy Boutros, Bokja, Katia Traboulsi, Hania Farrell, David & Nicolas, Youssef Haidar, Bassam Kahwaji, Jean Boghossian et Gregory Gatserelia were the selected artists. An exhibition started November 8th until November 15th at The Alternative Art Space, Platform 39, Fassouh, exhibited the turtles. Each one was represented as an inner interpretation of strength and perseverance.
An auction is taking place on the 15th of November at Al Mandaloun night club, 8 :30 and all the proceeds are going to Oum el Nour.