In my lasy visit to Beirut, I had the chance to meet Lebanese artist Ginane Makki Bacho, an established ‘avant gerade’ Arabian artist that thinks out of the box. Considering her working years & experience since 1974 until now, Ginane always find a way to reinvent her self as an artist, keeping the art scene curious about what this established artist will present!
Ginane shared with Al Maha her latest artwork ‘Scorched Earth’ which was exhibited in Agial Gallery booth in Art Dubai. I was – so did the visitors of the booth- very impressed with the sculptures in which she used steel to accomplish it, and believe me it is not an easy element to work with & create masterpiece!
“Using steel in this form of art” Ginane explains “I had to rehabilitate some pieces of steel by polishing or grinding them, thus, the steel powder generated by this action, which at times, falls down and at other time blows away, could be described as a metaphor for our state of political situation in Lebanon and the Middle East at large.
‘Scorched Earth’ can be described as two contradictory concepts. The first has the appearance of a bare, cruel, and frigid earth. The other has the appearance of an earth springing back to life with trees growing once again, and foliage and greenery sprouting from the surface. Life on earth reappears. The forest is dead, but reborn.
Deforestation is one of man’s unforgivable actions. It is an aggression against nature. However, regardless of the extreme destruction caused, some trees remain unscathed while others stand burnt with their branches stripped of foliage and their color black as night. The scenery appears haunting and angry. I envisioned this paradox and attempted to capture it in my art.
Traditionally, Arab poets and artists have been at the forefront of depicting the beauty of the forest in their poetry and art. I follow in their footsteps by presenting to you these sculptures of a “Scorched Earth.” I rehabilitated, polished, and ground pieces of steel to form these artworks. This process generated steel powder, which at times falls down to the ground and at other time blows away in the wind, much like the current political states of the region.”
Ginane’s ‘Scorched Earth’ doesn’t only represent the political scene in our region, but also can apply to one’s constant inner conflicts. We all go through ups & downs, some hit rock-bottom and they stand up again stronger and more cautious not to reach that level again. We all reach a point where our entire inside is burnt and rebirthed again, that what makes us better person.
Although it seems like a gloomy sculpture – reflecting burnt cedar & force- but there is optimisim in it, a sense of hope for a better tomorrow though the “ugly” present.
“When a forest is on fire, the flames and heat emanating from the inferno sweep everything in its way. The revolutions and political awakenings of the region’s populace will also, one day, sweep away all the ills inflicted on them.
One Arab country after another blows away in the wind. An opportunity for a new life and new reality emerges from the scorched earth that gets left behind. Like a burnt forest surviving destruction only to spring back to life, Arabs will also survive in their lands and forests to be born anew.
This is the beginning of their rebirth.” concludes Ginane.
About Ginane Makki Bacho
Born in Beirut, Lebanon Resided in the United States from 1984 through 2000. Holds Master’s of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Painting from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York 1984-1987, Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Lebanese American University, Beirut, 1980-1982. She was awarded Second Prize, Harriri Organization Alumni Exhibition, Beirut, 2002. Third Prize, Lebanese Independence Day Poster Competition, Beirut in 2001. First Prize in Gravure, 5eme Salon a l’Acedemie des Beaux Arts, Chaville, France in 1983 and much more.
For more information: http://www.ginane.com
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This blog has inspired me to start writing on my own blog