A delegation from the International Women’s Group (IWG) visited the Contemporary Art Platform (CAP) to view the joint exhibition of three outstanding artists: Amira Behbahani (Kuwait), Laila Shawa (Palestine) and Zena Assi (Lebanon).

The delegation was received at CAP by Aseel Al Huneidi, Gallery Coordinator, and Nada Sharak, Gallery Assistant, who accompanied the delegation in its tour of the gallery.

The works of Laila Shawa, titled ‘The Walls of Gaza’ drew attention to the fact that graffiti in Gaza plays a special role in the everyday lives of those who view it. Gaza’s graffiti is different from graffiti in other parts of the world; in Gaza it is used as a way for locals to share and communicate with each other.

The works of Ms. Shawa, a Palestinian artist whose work has been described ‘as a personal reflection’, highlighted the politics of her country, particularly the perceived injustices and persecution. Her artwork includes not only paintings, sculptures and installations but also photographs that serve as the base for silk screen printings.

A particularly interesting piece in the exhibition is a work in the shape of a rifle decorated with beads and real butterflies. With this piece Ms. Shawa succeeds not only in bringing attention to the cruelty of the occupation, but also by subverting this symbol of violence and aggression she reminds us of the power and beauty of peace and freedom.

Next on display were works under the Latin title ‘Ecce Homo’ (Behold the man) by Lebanese artist Zena Assi, highlighting present-day displacement conflicts. The collection revolves around memories (collective and individual) and how they are altered by the movement of people and the changes in societies’ ideologies and political tendencies. Some pieces tackle the universal crisis of migrants and refugees fuelled by poverty, civil war, politics, or economic failures, while others are rooted in highly personal stories and come from the artist’s own experiences of expatriation.

The final section of the tour was the works of Amira Behbehani titled ‘Seeking Refuge’, which presents an eclectic series of new works exploring ‘what it means to be in search of refuge’. The artist’s preoccupation with this question led her to those liminal spaces rooted between early childhood memories, imagined experiences, and dreamscapes; creating a kind of escapism from the unknown and a refuge into long-hidden memories that grew to give her new perspective and find new meaning,  all coming together to create her most multifaceted and personal works to date.

The visiting members were highly moved by the subject matter and the works of all three accomplished artists.At the end of the visit, the President of the International Women’s Group, Cristiana Balducci, wife of the Ambassador of the Republic of Italy, on behalf of IWG’s members presented certificates of appreciation to the organizing ladies of the Contemporary Art Platform (CAP), and through them also extended IWG’s grateful thanks and appreciation to the artists.

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