The Young Artist 2010
Welcome to the 2010 Young Artist of the Year exhibition, organised by the A.M.
Qattan Foundation’s Culture and Arts Programme. This exhibition, the sixth in
this biannual event, is the final stage of the 2010 Young Artist of the Year Award
– a project that was originally initiated in 2000 to support and promote artistic
practice by young Palestinian artists.
The Award is open to young artists under 30 of Palestinian descent from any part
of the world. This year’s exhibition features paintings, sculptures, installations,
a performance and short film and video works by young artists from Gaza,
Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Jerusalem, all of whom are at the beginning
of their artistic careers. The 2010 Award followed similar procedures to previous
Award programmes: an international call for proposals was sent out earlier in
the year and an independent jury selected projects by the eleven participating
artists who were given support and time to develop and produce their works,
finally culminating in this exhibition.
In previous years, the exhibition has taken place in a selection of venues in
Ramallah and Al Bireh. In 2010, however, because five of the selected artists
are resident in Gaza (Dina Matar, Salman Nawati, Abdallah Al Ruzzi and the
twin brothers, Ahmad and Mohammad Abu Nasser), we decided to extend the
exhibition to Gaza itself in an attempt to be inclusive rather than perpetuating
the exclusion and isolation of Gaza. Due to the nature of individual artworks, it
was not possible to show the same painting or installation in two places at the
same time. But in collaboration with the co-ordinator of the Gaza exhibitions
(the artist, Mohammed Musallam) and all the exhibiting artists from both areas,
we considered ways to give both communities the possibility of viewing at least
documentation of the works that they are unable to physically experience in
the same space. Each of the artists’ works will be represented in some way in
both Ramallah and Gaza City. For achieving this successfully, we thank both
Rula Halawani and Shareef Sarhan for their skilled work on the photographic
Once again, we have spread the majority of the artworks over some of the
cultural spaces of Ramallah and Al Bireh. We are grateful to all of the venues
for their generous permission to allow us to take over their spaces for the
duration of the exhibition. And we also extend a special thank you to Al
Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque for inserting Ahmad and Mohammad
Abu Nasser’s (Tarzan and Arab’s) short film into their regular film screening
schedule – so if you don’t make it to the Popular Art Centre to see the film
there, and their posters for imaginary films, you have the opportunity
of catching the film at Al Kasaba if you are in Ramallah. We also thank the
Ministry of Culture for the help that was given to Abdallah Al Ruzzi to install
his work in the water reservoir in Khan Yunis.
The independent jury of internationally renowned artists and writers from
Palestine, Europe and the US will consider all the exhibited works and will hold
discussions with each artist individually. Their decisions on the first, second
and third prize awards will be announced at the Award Ceremony at Al Kasaba
Cinematheque on the evening of the 23rd October.
There are many individuals and organisations who have made this event
possible and they should be thanked. Among them are the members of the
artists’ co-operatives in Gaza (Eltiqa and Windows from Gaza for Contemporary
Art) who have willingly allowed their exhibition spaces to be used for hosting
the exhibitions there. The Popular Art Centre in Al Bireh kindly allowed us to use
their Cinema Club and we are grateful, once again, for the collaboration of the
Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre, Al Mahatta Gallery and Ramallah Municipality.
Without the technical work of Ayman Construction and Bashir Abu Rahmeh,
there would be no exhibition, and special thanks are also due to Kefah Fanni,
Mu’az Jubeh, Samer Salhi, Ziad Trad, Samira Barakat and Jean Mathiot. We
thank ADWA Design for their patience and attention to all the graphic design,
and naturally we extend our gratitude to the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s staff –
especially the Culture and Arts Programme and the multimedia teams – who
have all contributed to bringing this exhibition into being.
We thank the jury members for their participation in the Foundation’s ongoing
work to support the development of cultural events and artistic practice in
Palestine; and lastly, the artists themselves, for whom the programme was initiated
and who have invested time, emotions and energy in realising their works.
Mahmoud Abu Hashhash
Director of the Culture and Arts Programme
Curator of the exhibition