Fatima Mortada’s First Solo Exhibition in Years “INANNA ASCENDS” at The LT Gallery

The LT Gallery (Beirut, Lebanon) is excited to immerse art lovers in a bygone era of worshipped goddesses where cryptic mythology meets the handwoven raw canvas of artist Fatima Mortada on January 20 until February 10.

Mortada’s exhibition titled INANNA ASCENDS is a labor of love, celebrating the Powerful Female represented throughout history in legends of rebellious women leaders from the Middle East.

INANNA ASCENDS is an eclectic representation of the creative female Archetype in knitted, woven, painted and hand-drawn artworks etched across paper and canvas, in large and small-scale formats. Venturing into uncharted territories, the exhibition will also showcase the artist’s first handmade sculptures.

Join us on to witness the mastery of the thread, held in two distinct phases:

• Phase I – INANNA ASCENDS: January 20


Details from Fatima Mortada Artwork. Courtesy of The LT Gallery.
Artwork by Fatima Mortada. Courtesy of The LT Gallery.

About The Fatima Mortada:

Fatima Mortada is a Lebanese artist born in 1976. She holds a Fine Arts diploma from the Institute of Fine Arts, Beirut and an MA in Fine Arts from the UK’s Winchester School of Art, besides being the recipient of a full scholarship for the PhD program.

Mortada’s work tackles the notions of identity and conflict within the Middle Eastern culture she was raised into.

Influenced by the contemporary art scene she was introduced to while studying in the UK, Mortada experiments with different techniques including drawing, sewing, painting, filmmaking and printmaking among others.

Fatima Mortada.

Artist’s Statement

My work has been revolving around mythology for some time now. It is the attempt to comprehend our deep-seated daily truths, mind set and mind status on the light of mythological elements that infiltrate our contemporary structures of thinking and behavior. Hence, my work is mainly the process of tracing of the mythological elements in our contemporary life in its different aspects. It is also the extensive research to find the MAGIC and MEANING that our world lacks nowadays and which other systems have failed to offer to mankind.

Artist Fatima Mortada

Why tracing mythological factors through contemporary life aspects?

At variance with the one-sided view to our existence today, mythology is very fluid and illusive. It is an open text that offers endless and multi-layered interpretations. It can be stretched and bent and constantly reshaped without losing its essence and grand narrative.

Through my art, I try to bring out the conflicts that fire my world. Consequently, the human body cannot be but a repercussion of all these conflicts in this diabolic game.

But dealing with the human body as a sublime value cannot be understood with respect to me without considering the deep mythological association of man’s existence with animals and nature. In fact, human existence is embedded naturally and instinctively in the whole texture of existence, and in a never-ending interrelation of affecting and being affected by how humankind deals with other beings, whether by belief, attitude and deeds or by thoughts, connections and feelings.

Details from Fatima Mortada Artwork. Courtesy of The LT Gallery.

From a mythological point of view, the fact that shared existence with human beings, they became the Sacred itself. The animals established the human being’s spiritual dimension, which assured his relation to the sacred. Depending upon this fundamental relationship with the animals, I addressed it as a major element in my works, mainly bisons, cows, goats and falcons. But choosing these animals backs to the feminine/masculine power they represent historically. For example, and briefly saying, the ancient Egyptians looked at the world as an ill founded one if there was not a complete association of Isis and the cow. The same can be said about the goat in the Babylonian world and its derivatives in the Old Testament, reaching to the idea of scapegoat as it is represented in the Islamic culture.

I represent the physical body that fluctuates between the morphology of the animal and the human.

Artist Fatima Mortada

The bodies in my works cross the borderline between animals and humans, claiming and reviving back the ancient scared animal symbols used long ago to convey basic traits of the female: creation, fluidity and constant change, power of possessing emotional intelligence that entitles her to understand the world in a different way, multiplicity of character, and the might to lead a war.

The project continues further to investigate how patriarchy denied the feminine powers of creation.

The ancient female archetypes of creation which are represented in my works are inspired by pre-historic and pre- patriarchal female represented through ancient artifacts.

These works aim to revive these archetypes in the contemporary world to empower the activism of young women seeking justice and social change.

My art works are traveling experiments through variations of concepts and mediums that address the body, sexuality, dress codes and female powers. I am not fixed to one medium of expression, but I practice drawing, painting, printmaking, soft sculpture, knitting, weaving, sewing, film and performance.

The thread forms the main element in my work. In this technique, I am inspired by the Greek mythology (Arachne and Penelope), Ancient Egyptian (Isis), and Native American Navajo Grandmother Spider, the feminine archetypes of creation and magic, where the vulnerable world of the male God was always fixed by the female’s threads. But the transition from line to thread in my works is not a random act.

Actually, it is a transition that chimes in with my desire to transmit my art from the abstract line in drawing into a sensual element that can be observed concretely. That is, to transmit myself from thinking to action.” ~ Fatima Mortada.