Rana Raouda on her Coquelicots series

Rana Raouda, On a envie de croire que ce sont des coquelicots, 2024, mixed media on canvas, 150x90 cm. Courtesy of Art on 56th, Beirut.
Rana Raouda, On a envie de croire que ce sont des coquelicots, 2024, mixed media on canvas, 150×90 cm. Courtesy of Art on 56th, Beirut.

How do you approach your creative process and choice of colours?

Rana Raouda: When I work, the way I choose my colours is very intuitive. The less I think, the better it is. My hands guide me, and then the colours start talking to each other. I put on music while I work because I need it to elevate me from the material world we’re in. Music helps me a lot, and I cannot paint without it.

Can you tell us about your Coquelicots series and specifically the ‘On a envie de croire que ce sont des coquelicots’ artwork?

RR: As far as the Coquelicots (poppies) are concerned, I worked on small acrylic on-paper versions a few months back. I had painted them in a small size and placed them somewhere in my atelier and forgot about them. A few months later I decided to work on a larger piece, and that is how the piece ‘On a envie de croire que ce sont des coquelicots’ emerged naturally.

Rana Raouda, Coquelicots Series, 2024, acrylic on paper. Courtesy of Art on 56th, Beirut.
Rana Raouda, Coquelicots Series, 2024, acrylic on paper. Courtesy of Art on 56th, Beirut.

What inspired the ‘On a envie de croire que ce sont des coquelicots’ piece?

RR: Most artists, including myself, paint what we live, feel, and what surrounds us. A coquelicot (poppy), once picked, does not last long. It needs to stay on its land because the minute you pick it, it dies. This idea inspired me to continue the exploration of this series which feels very relevant in the current climate. It represents the notion that we all belong where we feel we belong. I hope that the whole world can live where they want without anyone having to be displaced.

How do the Coquelicots series reflect your journey?

RR: I know I belong here. I lived abroad for a long time, but now I’m back, and I’m happy to be here. Even if the circumstances were difficult, I belong here, just like a coquelicot (poppy) belongs where it does.

‘On a envie de croire que ce sont des coquelicots’ and the Coquelicots series is currently on view at Art on 56th in Beirut in a collective exhibition titled ‘Summer 2024’ until the 21st of September 2024.


About Rana Raouda

Rana Raouda, Coquelicots Series, 2024, acrylic on paper. Courtesy of Art on 56th, Beirut.
Rana Raouda, Coquelicots Series, 2024, acrylic on paper. Courtesy of Art on 56th, Beirut.

Born in Beirut in 1961, Rana Raouda is a renowned artist whose educational journey began at the Lebanese American University of Beirut (LAU), culminating in her graduation in 1983. She further honed her skills at esteemed institutions such as the Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C., the Torpedo Factory in Virginia, and the Monotype Workshop in New Mexico. Raouda’s vibrant acrylic canvases, characterized by layers of varying tones within the same colour palette, reflect her profound connection to nature. Her spontaneous approach captures moments from memory, expressing them with depth and movement. Raouda’s work has been exhibited globally, earning accolades including the Young Artist award at Beirut’s Sursock Museum in 1997 and the Golden Painting Prize in France in 2013. Her art enriches collections at institutions like the Sursock Museum and private collections worldwide.

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