Eman Nawaya, Syrian artist

From Syrian origin, born in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia in 1989
Lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon

Eman Nawaya is a Syrian figurative painter who arrived in Beirut in 2014. To this day, her art continues to thirst for her country’s spirit, and her life as an artist is a tale of passion. She obtained her degree in Fine Arts from the University of Aleppo, in Syria, in 2012.

Eman Nawaya was very receptive to the idea of opening a small studio in Old Damascus, but was unable to due to the conflict. She had no other choice but to go to Beirut; the Beirut of Gebran, Darwish and Akl. Beirut did not disappoint; it welcomed her, an artist whose work revolves around feminine identity, generously. Her studies on the topic of women in all its facts, on female relationships with partners, on relationships between the sexes, still did not satisfy her curiosity, even four years later. The mixing of the sexes in this society, and its relationships, undoubtedly serves as an adequate source of inspiration. These two factors enrich her art, in much the same way as the atmosphere in this city helps her develop her artistic technique, for when it comes to colours, she is roused by the sea, and her paintings are enamoured of the Beirut sky.

It hasn’t been too difficult for Eman Nawaya to establish her art in Beirut, to have it accepted there, and for it to be considered a project which influences and is influenced by its society. All these factors combined constituted the essence of one of her individual exhibitions held in Beirut, and which was primarily inspired by this city’s vibe. The exhibition interacted with it, reflecting the relationship binding it to its inhabitants.

Some may think that, like other artists, Eman Nawaya skirts the subject of the war and destruction ravaging her country. In reality, however, she focuses on relationships and their substance because she firmly believes that when they are highlighted, whether to consecrate them, criticise them or underline their identification with space and existence, many wars and conflicts are avoided. This could enable us to end this cycle of destruction to achieve concrete, authentic results, based on partnership, and free from any conflict. She has also preferred to leave it to other artists to address the subject of war in their own way. She does not seek to compete with them, for fear the issue may become saturated. Neither her country, nor its inhabitants, nor their sufferings are the subject of everyday consumption, leave along exploitation.

… And Beirut remains her source, just as it has been for those who came before.

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