Mona Trad Dabaji addresses memory, women and confinement in her exhibition Le Paradis Perdu at Sursock Palace. Here’s her statement about the works.
There are memories that stick with you.
The joyful laughter of children in a garden at snack time.
Spring is coming with its scents of orange blossom and gardenias.
The itinerant merchants with their incomprehensible songs.
The carpets that are spread over the verandas to end the winter.
The floral covers that cover the furniture, and the summer rugs with their geometric designs.
These tiles with multiple colours that the warmth and bareness of the houses revalue.
Disappeared with the war, torn from our memory with the destruction of the old mansions.
A heritage that will remain forever etched in our hearts.
Our country houses, summer, holidays.
A world, I would say, half gone,
Our Lost Paradise.
~Mona Trad Dabaji
If the fight for women’s rights has always existed in the West?!
If the injustices still persist and the Liberation of women sometimes still remains an empty word?!
In our Eastern societies the problem is still nagging!
And if through my painting, I always wanted to express my love for my country and my culture,
the subject of women remains my primary interest, my common thread!
Always present, always predominant, whatever the subject; woman in the countryside, woman at work, languid woman, militant woman, liberated woman, her gaze remains frank, her determination intact.
I’m not talking about a submissive woman, but about one whose strength we don’t know.
The strength to survive in uncertain conditions, to keep smiling when the horizons are blocked and the tomorrows are no longer promising.
The one who knows how to enjoy the present moment, the happiness of diving into a book or relaxing with a coffee in hand.
Because in reality, whatever our struggles, we only draw our strength from within ourselves.
~ Mona Trad Dabaji
Containment, lock down, freeze frame, stand by….
Time stands still, the world stands still, March, April 2020… the nightmare continues.
I planted my easel on my veranda; indifferent to our fear, nature continues its course.
Winter is passing, spring is coming, it smells of orange blossom, there are birds everywhere…
In the trees, on my balustrade, on my canvases.
These birds are a good omen, the coffee grounds announce the end of the pandemic.
The rosary: the sweetness of passing time.
The laptop: communication with others.
The eye is there, watchman, lucky charm, promising better days.
~Mona Trad Dabaji
The exhibition is on view until the 6th of May.