Thursday, 19 May 2022 — The Tricontinental
This image, from the latest Tricontinental Newsletter is so beautiful as well as so sad that it deserves a page all to itself, lest we forget.
Malak Mattar (Palestine), Last Scene Before Flying with the Dove to Paradise, 2019.
This is an extract from an essay by Nada Elia on Mattar: https://mondoweiss.net/2017/10/mattar-dreamed-studying/
Malak Mattar’s paintings hang on the walls in the homes of her many fans around the world, from India to England to the U.S. With vivid colors and haunting stares, they express, beautifully, as only the greatest art can do, the utter misery of life and death in the besieged Gaza Strip. They were smuggled out of Gaza through the tunnels, featured in exhibitions in Spain and India, with a solo exhibition in Bristol, England, then sold to a few lucky fans, while the artist herself remains trapped in the besieged strip. Mattar is a child prodigy who started painting at the age of 14, in the aftermath of “Operation Cast Lead,” Israel’s 2014 assault on the besieged strip. With government-provided low-quality watercolors and paper, she discovered the euphoric liberating effect of self-expression and soon graduated from aquarelle to acrylic on canvas. Last year, she left the Gaza Strip for the first time in her life, when her art was shown in Jerusalem.