Framed / Unframed : Women Representations in Palestinian Art Practice

  • untitled

    This a reflection on a familiar scene of newlyweds seated on a heavily decorated wedding stage. The small details of the dark red-filled scene and the relationships among the family members in the picture evoke many questions.

  • Self Portrait


    Existential suffocation and loss

  • Silent Lament

    The work stands in homage to the dreadful loss and repeated anguished scenes of mothers who had lost their sons. These images shown everyday in the news during the second Intifada in 2000, inspired the artist to do this work. Mother’s as well as their sons become the victims of loss

  • Holding my Breath

    This art video highlights feelings of suffocation. It reflects fraught and painful existentialist conditions Palestinians endure.

  • Fatoma

    Ahlam Shibli uses photography as an aesthetic medium  to make visible the plight of Bedouin women, whose existence, along with that of their communities, is denied by the Israeli occupation.

  • Palestine

    Suleiman Mansour‘s painting “Salma” (1978) later reproduced as a PLO political poster, and distributed under the title “Palestine”. Salma and Palestine became synonymous in the collective consciousness of Palestinians. It is so believed that the work contributed vehemently to creating a symbolic unity in popular visualization between woman and...

  • Two Bethlehem Girls

    In this work we find a continuation of the symbolism that was originally fostered in the 1970s. The image of Palestinian women who in their traditional embroidered dress became symbols of national struggle and Palestinian identity.

  • Homes for the Disembodied

    The gigantic and empty dresses hanging in the emptiness of the exhibition space differ dramatically from the former typical traditional dresses in the oil and printed works of the earlier period. They still offer, albeit through a different artistic language, a highly charged political commentary about diaspora and exile, home and homeland.

  • The Negotiating Table

    The room is dark, lit only by a light bulb lowered over a table on which the artist lies motionless. Empty chairs surround the table. Her body is bloodstained, covered with entrails, wrapped in plastic, and her head is firmly covered in surgical gauze. On the sound track news reports about civil war and speeches of Western leaders talking about...

  • Over my Dead Body

    Mona Hatoum uses her own personal image in confrontation with the soldier, challenging him with the playful size of representation in this game of power.

  • Penelope

    Raeda Saadeh creates a metaphorical Palestinian portrayal of the story of “Penelope”- a character from Homer’s Odyssey. The woman sits amidst the ruins of her destroyed home patiently knitting from a gigantic ball of yarn.

  • Absorption

    The painting is saturated with bitterness and hardship in anticipation of the loss of the artist's own life as she was suffering from a chronic illness. The women’s tired bodies in the painting painfully embody this sense of impending loss.

  • Leashed/ Unleashed

    The work presents an image of a woman in anguish contrasted with the mocking figure of “Cat Woman”, the cartoon female super-hero, who challenges the viewer with her aggressive stance.

  • Scream


    In this work a woman screams in anger or anguish in reaction to atrocious violations practiced against her either by the occupation or multiple forms of exploitation in society.

  • The Icon

    Image of Leila Khaled, originally created by the PLO in the 1970s, became the icon of Palestinian female militancy. Originally, it was a manufactured image, purposefully staged to present the idealized female fighter. Shomali re-configures this image in a contemporary framework. The underlying sarcasm in this work is emphasized by the use of 3,...