Intimate Topographies (working title) 2019

The land has been a central theme in Palestinian art over the decades, through representations of the loss of the land, nostalgia, utopian representations of village and peasant life and of exile and distance from the homeland. Artworks have featured the creation of icons in the olive tree, the cactus, orange groves and the detailed representation of the landscape. Artists have also worked extensively with natural materials in a transformation that saw a move away from narrative and symbolic representations to the indexical markers and actual materiality of place. The representation of the land has not only been focused on the rural hinterland, but the history of representation of the cities as well. Many artists have dealt in their work with a sense of absence, of being out of place, with the homely and familiar that becomes unfamiliar, of things being out of sync and disrupted. Their works suggest a sense of distance from home, or a nearness yet with a sense of loss and alienation, melancholy and the residue of endless waiting and postponement.

The exhibition will explore the themes of the land in relation to the above through a unique selection of works from Palestinian art practitioners working within Palestine and beyond. It will draw on historical works, with works from collections, as well as contemporary art. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with an extended essay covering detailed exploration and contextualization of the artists’ works.

The exhibition is curated by the artist and curator Tina Sherwell. Tina has been the Director of the International Academy of Art Palestine since 2007.