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Resilience and Light – Palestinian contemporary art celebrated in Canterbury

— May 2013

Associated media

Laila Shawa, T series Inside Paradise (2011) Photography and mixed media on canvas, 120x120cm

At a time of great change and uncertainty for the Arab world, Studio 3 Gallery, University of Kent  is showing a very relevant exhibition, ‘Resilience and Light: Contemporary Palestinian Art’

The exhibition has been organized in partnership with Arts Canteen, whose director, Aser El Saqqa, has curated a distinguished group of Palestinian artists for this exhibition, including such leading figures in contemporary Arab art as: Laila Shawa, who exhibited at ICA’s AKA Peace exhibition; Abraaj Capital Art Prize winner 2012, Taysir Batniji; Hani Zurob, who was tipped by The Huffington Post as one of ten ‘international artists to watch in 2013’; Hazem Harb who recently participated at the inaugural ART13 in London with his solo exhibition, ‘Impossible Travel, Me and the Other Half & Inside-Outside’; and Mohammed Joha, who launched his ambitious project, ‘The Jasmine and Bread Revolution’, in 2012 at The Courtyard Gallery, Dubai.

While diverse in approach and style, the artists included in this exhibition are working within a shared set of circumstances that define the reception of contemporary art, within and beyond the Arab world. ‘Resilience and Light’ explores a number of themes arising from their specific situations, including how art is interpreted within and out of its historical, social and political context.

Ben Thomas, curator of Studio 3 Gallery, said: ‘it is very exciting to be able to bring to Canterbury such compelling work by Palestinian artists’. Aser El Saqqa added that:

Curating this exhibition has been an enormous challenge. This collection has come to Canterbury from Gaza, London, Venice, Paris and Dubai. Our aim is to show work of outstanding creativity, innovation and inspiration to new audiences.

Laila Shawa, one of the artists who will be present at the private view alongside Hani Zurob, said my workproffers a synthesis of past and present ideas, formal, personal and political, into a powerful contemporary vision of Arabic popular culture’.

Resilience and Light: Contemporary Palestinian Art remains on view until 18 May.

Monday – Friday, 9a.m. –5p.m.

Open also Saturday 18 May, 9a.m. – 5p.m.

Free admission. Disabled access

Studio 3 Gallery
Jarman Building
School of Arts
University of Kent
Canterbury CT2 7UG

Tel: 01227 827228

In July 2011, Cassone published Aser al Saqqa's account of his problems bringing Palestinian art to London - read his story.


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