Palestinian Artists Use Cacti as Canvas for Stunning Artwork

The sabra is a cactus that produces fruit and carries great symbolism in Israel and Palestine. It grows wild throughout the region and is known for being able to withstand any weather conditions. The plant has a tough exterior but is soft and sweet on the inside. Both Israelis and Palestinians see the sabra as a representation of their people’s resilience and determination in the ongoing conflict.

About a year ago, Ahmad Yaseen, an artist on the faculty of An Najah University in the Palestinian city of Nablus, began using spiny cactus pads as canvases for his political artwork. This resourcefulness, in an environment where art supplies and education are not easily accessible, is a testament to the local spirit he aims to express through these portraits.

key and pain

Ahmad Yaseen, “Patience” (2016), acrylic on cacTus

Yaseen uses white and green acrylic to create portraits that exhibit impressive detail despite the uneven, living surface. In one painting, he depicts a pair of newborn babies nursing, with the mother’s bent arm forming the shape of a keyhole. Another painting features an old woman in a Keffiyah with closed eyes, a furrowed forehead, and clutching a skeleton key. Yaseen explains that the recurring key motif symbolizes hope and is often associated with the right of return, a political principle that advocates for all Palestinian refugees to have the opportunity to return to their pre-Nakba homes.

In one of his works, Yaseen embedded a stone into a cactus pad and painted a hand clutching it. This piece is the most overt reference to violence among his cactus paintings. However, Yaseen purposely avoids depicting knives, which are the most commonly used weapons in the current infitada or other weapons.

10299940_994590787243663_5265878277975081260_n

Ahmad Yaseen at Work

Yaseen’s paintings aim to promote peace. In an interview with AI Monitor, he explained that he does not depict martyrs or scenes from the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Instead, he includes elements that offer a glimmer of hope, rather than just despair. Despite the current atmosphere of fear on the ground for both Palestinians and Israelis, Yaseen takes a bird’s-eye view as an artist.

In photographs of his works, the surrounding dry, hilly landscape provides a wistful backdrop. For instance, in one photo, the antennas of Elon Moreh, which is the center of Israel’s settlement enterprise in the Palestinian Territories, are silhouetted against the sky.

DSC03127

Ahmad Yaseen, “Life” (2016), acrylic on cactus

10628126_10153589567997984_1571585245238973878_n

Ahmad Yaseen at Work

Cactus is Palestinian painter's canvas - CNN Style

Related Posts

Heavenly Light: Unraveling the Enchanting Mystery of Sun Pillars in Snowy Skies

  Sun pillars are a natural phenomenon that occurs when sunlight reflects off ice crystals in the atmosphere, creating a beautiful, vertical beam of light. When this…

Nature’s Breathtaking Masterpieces: Unbelievable Curved Bamboo Trees

In the realm of flora, few plants exhibit the graceful charm and unique beauty of curved bamboo trees. These slender, flexible wonders of nature possess a distinct…

Revealing Mesmerizing Cloud Formations That Inspire Awe

Clouds are a mesmerizing canvas painted across the sky, showcasing the boundless creativity of nature. From fluffy white puffs to dark, brooding masses, they never fail to…

Prepare to be enthralled by Glass Beach, a stunning destination that is sure to leave you in awe.

Welcome to Glass Beach, a breathtaking destination that is sure to leave you spellbound. Nestledaong the coast, this mesmerizing beach is unlike any other you’ve ever seen….

The Allure of Twisted Petals: Exploring the Enigmatic Beauty of Chrysanthemums

The chrysanthemum, with its alluring twisted petals, stands as a symbol of elegance, longevity, and nobility. This remarkable flower has captivated hearts across cultures and time, enchanting…

Enigmatic Wonder: The Peculiar Shaped Jackfruit Tree

Within the vast realm of tropical fruits, jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) stands as a truly remarkable specimen. Known for its large size, unique flavor, and versatility, jackfruit has…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *