Embroidered jellayeh coat from Galilee, from the collection of Birzeit University Museum. Photo: Kayané Antreassian. Courtesy of the Palestinian Museum. 
Labour of Love: New Approaches to Palestinian Embroidery
March 18–August 25, 2018 

In a moment of heightened global conversation around women’s rights and dominion over their bodies, Labour of Love explores Palestinian embroidery through the lenses of gender, labour, symbol, capital and class. Structured around these thematic poles, the exhibition traces Palestinian embroidery’s shift from an historic, individual practice, associated with self-expression, to a cultural artefact and marker of national heritage. The exhibition examines the politicisation of Palestinian embroidery, its circulation as image in paintings and posters, the implications of its commodification, and the nature of its production by NGOs today. Read more

Curated by Rachel Dedman, an independent curator and writer based in Beirut, Lebanon.

Intimate Topographies: Be-longing, Nearness and Distance, 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. 

Gaza Gateway to Palestine, 2020

Gaza long served as a gateway to Palestine, and was a link between East and West. For over three thousand years, it was a trading hub and meeting place for every culture, language and religion that existed in this part of the world. This explains the vast number of antiquities that have been discovered there in the archaeological excavations undertaken since the late 19th century. In the last two decades alone, tens of thousands of objects have been unearthed. For more than twenty years, Jawdat al-Khoudary has been salvaging and preserving many of the objects that have been unearthed from Gaza’s building sites. His private collection, which includes hundreds of archaeological artefacts representing the lengthy and rich history of Gaza over a period of over 4,000 years, was first exhibited at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Geneva, Switzerland in 2007.

The Palestinian Museum will host this collection in an exhibition that will place this rich history and culture within the context of Gaza’s more recent history. Providing an insight into the daily civil, religious and cultural life of the people of Gaza, from the Bronze Age (around 3500 BCE) until modern times, the exhibition will be structured around themes rather than a timeline. In addition to archaeological artefacts, it will also include early photography and maps of Gaza, and items relevant to contemporary issues related to its cultural heritage.