17 May 2013
Bold colours and unique art techniques have been luring crowds to Al-Thakafa Street, in Amman, Jordan, where a quaint art gallery housed “Our Paintings,” the 2nd exhibition organized by art teachers from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and volunteers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The exhibition featured student artwork from two UNRWA schools in Husn Palestine refugee camp in northern Jordan and four other UNRWA schools located in and around Amman.
Despite its rather modest set up, the exhibition attracted a sizeable audience. “It’s really amazing to see these pictures that have been made by sixth graders,” commented Leila Al-Hayek, a university student who was taking a tour of the exhibition. “It has to be difficult for seventh graders to produce this type of artwork,” she added.
“This one speaks about Amman in general,” commented Hanada Al-Shalabi, while standing in front one of the paintings. “It depicts a lot of houses stacked up on each other. Despite the implied density of the picture with all the houses, it has serenity to it. It has a calm atmosphere.”
The painting described by Al-Shalabi is entitled “Lights from a Homeland” and captures a night view of the Baqa’a refugee camp from a nearby hilltop. Students from UNRWA schools in Baqa’a drew their own houses into the picture using a unique art technique known as “scratch.”
Another eye-catching piece in the gallery is a tree assemblage that serves as the exhibition’s largest artwork. The tree branches look as if they stretch across the gallery and into the street, beckoning passersby to come and visit the exhibition.