Photo © Danny Caminal / El Periódico de Catalunya.
Fatima Mortada is an emerging Lebanese artist who graduated from the Lebanese University with a first class honours Diploma in Fine Arts in 2007.
In 2009, she moved to the UK to pursue higher education at the university of Southampton, Winchester School of Art where she got her MA in Fine Art (with distinction) in 2010, and a full 3 year scholarship for the PhD programme.
She has participated in several group exhibitions in Lebanon, France, UK and Jordan. She held her first solo exhibition at Mark Hachem Gallery – Beirut in 2014.
After spending time in the UK and having been exposed to the contemporary art scene, Mortada realised her passion to address issues of identity and conflict that refer to the social background she comes from: the Middle East. She has been experimenting with a wide range of techniques and materials from drawing, printmaking and painting to soft sculpture, installation, film, knitting and sewing.
“I believe that my art is breaking a taboo by investigating gender hierarchies and the politics of sexuality in the Arab world. I research how female powers were represented historically, especially in mythologies then appropriate the findings of my research to the situation of women in the contemporary Middle East. My art works are travelling 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. I am inspired by the feminine archetypes of creation and magic in ancient mythologies, such as the Egyptian ISIS and the Greek PENELOPE and ATHENA. The transition from line to thread in my work tunes in with my desire to transmit my art from the abstract line of drawing into something that can be observed concretely. That is, to transmit myself from thinking to action, to become an activist I mean.”