Art: From a Place of War

(system) #1

By Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson

We're being inundated with images of destruction and death in the Middle East. And yet from a place of war, come also images of life. Art is an act of creation--the antithesis of destruction and death. A dab of paint, a filled canvas, a paintbrush are no match for bombs and guns, but through art, we process, we hope, and we heal.Today, I highlight artwork from Lebanon, Israel, and Palestine--all of which depict trees, a universal symbol of life and growth:

"Wadi Habesor Acacia" by Ron Gang

Ron Gang is drawn to the resilient acacia tree from which the biblical Ark of the Covenant was made. It is said that a vow taken under the acacia tree may never be broken. "There are more levels of reality than just politics," Toronto-born Israeli artist Ron Gang says. "If we lose sight of the beauty around us, what is the value of living?"

"Landscape" by Sohail Sameir Salem A young Palestinian artist who lives in Gaza, Sohail Sameir Salem is currently concentrating on themes, such as children, the human being, and freedom.

"Trees" by Miriam Benhaim

Born in Romania, Miriam Ben Haim now lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel. She creates some of her artwork on paper made from the desert near her home, a technique that reflects a deep connection to the land.

Untitled Oil on Paper by Mohammed Abusall Born in a refugee camp, Mohammed Abusall lives and works in Gaza. His work explores the Palestinian love of the land and the realities of separation and exile.

"The Oak" by Joseph Matar Joseph Matar seeks to capture the poetic beauty and hope of Lebanon in face of oppression and violence. Matar has been called a "great humanist." He calls himself "a messenger of love and of light, being one of the many children of the sun."

In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict, a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." Artists who create in a spirit of love for humanity move us in the right direction.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Rohan Charlton) #2

Really uplifting. I simply can’t imagine being proximal to such conflicts. I’d be terrified.

Hopefully art like this would inspire me to:

Be still and KNOW that I Am God.