Monday, November 30, 2020

Lina Qadri, “Nostalgia”

Juicebox Gallery

By Julie C. - October 01, 2013
Section: [Main News] [Culture] [IN PICTURES] [Features]

Photos by Julie C.


Lina Qadri started painting when she was a child in her hometown of Nablus. After studying Arts at al-Najah University, she held her first solo exhibition in the French Cultural Center of Nablus. Her third exhibition, “Nostalgia,” was displayed last week in the intimate atmosphere of the Mahmoud Darwish Museum in Ramallah. 

In her paintings, made between 2007 and 2012, Lina Qadri brings life to her characters through the movements of her brush and a wide range of colors. Some paintings took her three months, others three weeks. Each painting was inspired by a significant event, instance or person in her life, be it one of her relatives, a book she read or a concert she attended. The length of time it takes her to finish a painting depends on how long the particular moment of inspiration sticks with her.  

“When I paint, it is a reaction,” says Qadri. “It’s like pushing a trigger. When I feel I want to paint, I drop everything else because I have to use that certain feeling. If I don’t use it at that moment, it is going to fade away.”

As the exhibition has now come to an end, the following is a tour of her work:

  1. 1. Nostalgia

Presenting her paintings to the public and selling her work is a way for her to let go in order to move on. “You can’t have peace with your past without dealing with it and without getting rid of it,” says Qadri. “I have been through too much in my life and I needed to move on.” 

  1. 2. Denial

“I went to a wedding and I saw all these women dressed in colorful dresses. They were acting. As if they were happy. I know each one of them. (…) Each one of them has had certain traumas in her life, or has had certain issues in her life. They were looking at each other, trying to smile and to dance, faking a certain expression on their faces. I painted them in these colorful dresses and then I started to paint the background in black, because they are living in denial (…), trying to hide what they really feel, the resentment they have (…).”

  1. 3. Melody made from a boy / Melody from a girl

“I’m in love with music. I love live performances. I really enjoy the base and the contrabass. I love how musicians hold their instruments. The woman, when she plays, is hugging the instrument. Sometimes you can feel the man as more dynamic with [it].”

  1. 4. Solidarity

This painting “is related to the women in general (…). We have too much in common. We can understand and comprehend each other. It has nothing to do with religion, or roots or whatever… When a woman has to stand all by herself, even if inside, she is burning (…), she is trying to deal with everything around her (…). She has to fight. She has to be a fighter.”

  1. 5. The Purple affair

“The color purple is a combination between blue and red. Each woman, each one of us have this combination. Sometimes you feel really cold when you should really be on fire. Sometimes you are really extreme with your feelings about things you should be calmer about. 

“In this one, the man is grey. It is the worst case when the man is grey. He has to be either white or black. If he is grey she can’t read him. That’s why she is tired and she is sitting. 

“Some people asked, 'Is this you? Who is having the affair in this painting? Are you woman who had the purple affair?’ Oh my god, are you crazy! I wouldn’t name her! Even more if it was me!”

  1. 6. Fadwa

“Fadwa is my daughter (…). Even with all this darkness around, she still shines.”

  1. 7. The last hug

“On this one I put the highest price because I don’t want to sell it. I made it while I was going through a trauma in my life. I made it with intense feelings. It means a lot to me. You can see that two people are trying to hug each other. Maybe they are saying goodbye, maybe they just met in the most difficult zone. You can see it from the motion around them. It is a warzone (…).” 

  1. 8. The last woman standing

“When you think about spreading something peaceful, you should start with yourself. Because if you don’t have peace within yourself, you can’t be peaceful with your family, and families are been raising and raised in an un-peaceful environment (…). We can’t reach peace without starting in ourselves as women. I believe that leadership should be given to women. Men proved that they can’t do peace anymore. They failed. All over the years they proved it.”

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