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Exhibition reflects on Palestinian diaspora’s yearning for roots

By Margaux Farran - Feb 20,2021 - Last updated at Feb 20,2021

Artist Dalia Ali poses for a photo next to her painting during her exhibition titled ‘Nostalgia of the Heart’ at the Foresight32 Gallery in Amman (Photo by Margaux Farran)

AMMAN — A Palestinian artist’s personal journey to discover her roots was brought to life in an exhibition titled “Nostalgia of the Heart” at the Foresight32 Gallery in Amman.

Dalia Ali grew up in Kuwait, spent her life in between Boston and Amman, but was never able to visit her homeland, Palestine.

“We, the diaspora, are travellers in this world, but we never forget that Palestine lives in our heart,” Ali told The Jordan Times.

However, she reconnected with her identity, heritage and ancestors by “visiting the cities of Palestine through art”.

Ali recreated the landscapes of the Holy Land from Jaffa to Jerusalem, thanks to bits of pictures and pieces of stories passed down from her family.

The stories of Palestine and its landmarks came to life on her canvas with movements, layers, lights and contrasts. The superposition of textured acrylic with collage of poems and traditional embroidery creates an entangled mosaic, representing the “intricacy of the Palestinian history and its culture”, according to Ali.

The result is personal. “More than a realistic copy of the photographs”, the artist offers her own interpretation of Palestine, entrenched in a dream-like atmosphere.

Ali explained that her paintings “are impressions of what I see, to capture the feel of the place”.

The viewer is left to feel Palestine in its complexity and subjectivity. The artist encourages everyone to discover the Holy Land through senses, navigating between the “scent of the Jaffa oranges” and the tunes of folksongs

“Her paintings reflect the soul of Palestinian culture. It’s as if we could hear the melody of ancient literature, or feel the texture of traditional embroidery!” according to a visitor of the gallery.

The exhibition will run until March 1, 2020.

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