The seven artists in this exhibition were selected from the 12 finalists in the A.M. Qattan Foundation?s 2008 Young Artist of the Year award. The biennial Award was initiated in 2000 to support and promote artistic practice by young Palestinian artists. In 2004, it was named in honour of the young artist Hassan Hourani who died in a tragic drowning accident in the sea at Jaffa.
The seven artists come from or are based in Ramallah, Jerusalem, the Galilee, Gaza and, for the first time in the Award?s history, the occupied Golan Heights. This area has also been under occupation since 1967, and suffers from many of the same social and political issues as occupied Palestine. These young artists have grown up under conditions of military occupation, discrimination, alienation or exile. Forced by circumstances to be wiser than their years, the multiplicities of layers and pressures in the environments they exist in and their daily experiences have fed into their work ? both directly and subliminally ? for which they use the diversity of media in contemporary art practice, from video and installation to painting, photography and the traditional art of etching. The works shown in ?Fragile Bodies? reveal shared legacies and themes of pain and loss; of loneliness, exile, and a lack of stability while being subject to forces out of the artists? control.
?I try in my work to highlight the fragile human condition, and Palestinian daily life in particular. The formlessness, absence of features and the mystery all signify the loss of stability and the feeling of defeat. In my recent works, I chose one element within each frame to emphasise the solitude, and sometimes the obligatory exile, and the absence of any feature of stability.? Hazem Har
A catalogue is available featuring all 12 finalists with an essay by Dr. Tina Sherwell (£15).