Samah Shihadi: Hungry for Home with accompanying text by Ranya Tabari Idliby

Tabari Artspace is delighted to announce a solo exhibition of new works by the Palestinian artist Samah Shihadi.


Hungry for Home is a collection of 18 compelling hyperrealist pencil and charcoal drawings that use traditional Palestinian food as a platform from which to explore deep-rooted cultural codes and memories. The act of eating is a powerful and intimate practice, the textures and flavours we encounter are absorbed into not only the body but also the memory. Food is something that we unite over and which can draw companionship into our lives. Shihadi’s powerfully realistic drawings, more closely aligned with photographs, use Palestine’s dishes and communal eating practices to communicate the collective experience of lost identity, displacement, and ultimately the artist’s aspiration to return home. “For the Palestinians living in the diaspora the table is an anchor point,” says Ranya Tabari Idliby, Palestinian author, based in New York, whose excerpts of writings on the same subject are displayed alongside the artworks. “It’s where families gather, and community is built. It’s where memories of a Palestine lost are shared and where a threatened Palestinian culture lives and thrives.”

 

Themes of nostalgia and displacement unite the women, despite their distinct practices set against the context of continuing geopolitical unrest in Palestine, both Shihadi and Tabari Idliby express a desire shared by many in the Palestinian diaspora to return to one’s roots.

November 20, 2018