Mahmoud Darwish Museum, Ramallah.
Opening and opportunity to meet the artist on Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 18:00–20:00
The contemporary artworks in this exhibition are based on original photos of the famous El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe. The materials used are canvas panels and acrylic colors. The sizes of the artworks are either 100 x 100 cm or 120 x 80 cm.
The inaugural exhibition was opened at Yabous Cultural Centre on July 17, 2017. The second “Dance” exhibition will open in Ramallah, in cooperation with the Popular Art Centre and El-Funoun, as part of the 2017 Palestinian Heritage Festival. The exhibition will run until October 10.
Born in Jerusalem in 1984, Nameer Qassim obtained a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Al-Quds University in Abu Dis in 2007, and works as a teacher and fine arts instructor.
In 2004, Qassim participated in several group exhibitions. Among them was an exhibition held in Amman, Jordan, for a charity dinner whose proceeds were donated to students from Al-Quds University. On this occasion, one of her pieces was chosen as the best artwork and presented as a gift to Queen Rania Al-Abdullah. In 2010, Qassim participated in an exhibition for Jerusalemite artists presented in connection with the Greek Cultural Week at the Palestinian National Theater in Jerusalem, and in an exhibition held in Manger Square in Bethlehem. During the 2011 Jerusalem Festival, Qassim helped design and create the mural on the walls of Yabous Cultural Centre.
Qassim’s first personal exhibition, titled “Spontaneous Nature,” was supported by Yabous Cultural Centre as part of the center’s 2012 project that showcased young Jerusalemite artists. She also participated in a group exhibition of artists from Jerusalem, presented at the opening ceremony of the 2015 Jerusalem Festival in collaboration with the Taawon-Welfare Association.
In the words of the artist:
I have always loved El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe. My ambition to be a part of this group stayed with me throughout my childhood, and although I had my reasons for not joining the group as I grew up, I nevertheless strove to use my artistic skills to express my passion and love for dance as a means to assert Palestinian identity and existence. My belief in the value of the dance troupe is communicated through this exhibition. I chose painting as my means of expression and decided that my work would be inspired by the group pictures of the dancers. I desired to present the group dancers in an artistic, modern fashion with warm, glowing, and radiant colors filled with joy, love, and challenges.
Throughout my process, the images of El-Funoun Troupe provided inspiration for my paintings: the traditional outfits and vibrant colors, the stage backgrounds, the power and beauty of the dance, the traditional songs alongside the powerful rhythms of modern music. I studied the dancers who make up the group’s spirit – their facial features, their looks, their smiles, their voices, and their interconnection while dancing as one diverse body. They are already an exquisite artwork, and I am only an intermediary between them and the white space and colors. This exhibition, which carries the name “Dance,” is dedicated to the dance group, to the audiences who love this group, and to the influential role it plays at home and abroad.