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Painting exhibition explores human connection with nature

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Sep 18,2017 - Last updated at Sep 18,2017

Artist Nissa Raad poses in front of one of her paintings at the opening of her solo exhibition ‘ZEN’ on Saturday (Photo by Ana Ibáñez Prieto)

AMMAN — Artist Nissa Raad is shifting from the exploration of the urban environment to the human connection with nature in “ZEN”, her new solo exhibition inaugurated at the Wadi Finan Art Gallery on Saturday.  

The exhibition will run through September 27, showcasing the paintings through which the artist sought to “capture themes of life, balance and rebirth”.

In a recent interview with The Jordan Times, Raad explained that her latest work revolves around “the idea of how nature can be therapeutic for a person”, saying that nature “calms you down, allowing you to focus and to find yourself”.

The pieces displayed in the gallery are the artist’s first foray into painting organic forms such as rocks, nests, leaves or eyes; where the lines and pathways represent “how everything in nature is interconnected, and how we must stay connected to it”, according to  Raad. 

But, even though the theme changes drastically, the artist’s style remains untouched. 

The wilderness of nature is presented in the canvas in the form of mixed media along with a multitude of textures and layers, with a swatch of bright colours dominated by the blue of the sky. 

“I don’t really plan what I am going to do,” said the artist, who finds her inspiration in her grandmother. 

“She told me to be myself, lose myself and enjoy the process of painting — and that is what I do, whatever I paint, I don’t do it to please anybody, but to go through the process and enjoy it as much as possible,” she explained. 

Raad’s grandmother is the renowned artist Fahrelnissa Zeid, who taught her how to paint to “infuse drama and expressiveness” in her artwork. 

“My paintings don’t need to be beautiful. They have to be interesting, eye-catching, dramatic,” the artist said. 

But Raad’s prime inspiration for “ZEN” was a recent hiking trip to the Himalayas, where the solitude transformed itself into creativity. 


“I was occupied with nothing but the magnificent beauty that surrounded me and focused on nothing but the ground ahead of me,” she explained, concluding that “the physical and mental escape that one finds in nature is invigorating, refreshing and empowering.”

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