Remembering & Forgetting: The Process to Understand Painting & Existence
I am an artist, a painter, and Palestinian-American woman. These are parts of my identity that raise questions for me: What is painting? What is history, and how can it be embodied in painting? How does memory function in our daily lives and art making? How do these concepts relate to the Palestinian experience?
I research and make art to find answers to these questions. I then research the concepts through contemporary and past thinkers. The making of the artwork and the writing of the manuscript both constitute a dialogue with these historical ideas, images, and my own questions about existence and artmaking. The project begins with making artwork. The paintings go through multiple stages and each layer is visually different. These stages imply idea’s that I recognize and read more about. The making and the thinking happen simultaneous. I actively think while making the work, being as interior to the space of the canvas as I am with my mind. The painting practice is an immersion between reading, writing, thinking, and making.
This research consists of a 21-page manuscript, 6 paintings and 65 drawings. My reading list for research contains 17 texts and articles and 4 historical paintings. The subject matter of the work derives from historical photographs of Palestinian’s in history. A history that is rarely recognized.
In conclusion, a developed studio practice and the physical artwork are the final product of the research. The studio practice is a method to find truths about our existence. It is where intellectual connections to the world occurs. Although the questions are not completely answered, they are investigated and the paintings serve as that documentation.