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Hind Orfali El-Ama: Palestinian painter

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 14.05.2006:

Artist of the Month

Hind Orfali El-Ama, who is currently living in Stockholm was born in Bethlehem, Palestine in 1962. She moved to Sweden in 1986, where she studied art for one year at Prisma, Folkhögskolan mkfc in 1999 and for another two years at Folkhögskola Art School in Upplands Väsby.

During her years in Sweden, Hind worked in different schools in the community where she lives and is still currently working as an art teacher for high school students. Hind feels that working with students is a big challenge. It is all about how to communicate through art and be able to express what you think and feel. She feels that art can replace the oral part in many aspects. She believes that, “Having art lectures at school is a necessity for every individual. It’s a way to increase their creativity and maybe have more harmony in daily life. Communicating through art encourages better team work.”

Besides working with schools, Hind has a private studio where she spends a lot of her time painting and working on different exhibitions. Using colours has always fascinated Hind since an early age when she knew that this is something she would do in the future but didn’t have a clue of where, when and how. But now Hind takes her place as one of the prominent Palestinian artists living in exile.

Living in Sweden has not prevented Hind from keeping in touch with her homeland. She is still in touch with Palestine through her family, friends and her work.

Throughout 2004, the International Centre of Bethlehem had a special focus on well-known Palestinian artists living in exile. Its Gallery started the year by hosting Samia Halaby (New York, USA), then Taysir Batniji (Paris, France), Mary Tuma (North Carolina, USA), Larissa Sansour (Copenhagen, Denmark), Alexandra Handal (New York, USA), and ended the year with an exhibition of Hind’s photography artwork, which included 20 different images of doors entitled “Doors of Bethlehem.”

Photography is something that Hind enjoys doing on her free time. When taking photos, she focuses on small details that are right there in the environment we live in. Doors are one example. Hind has always been fascinated by doors for which she has a lot of passion. For her, “Doors have different characters as people do and it is always interesting and kind of curious to know what is hidden behind every door and inside every person. It takes courage and challenge to open a closed door and to go through it; the same as taking new chances or steps in life.”

Hind’s artwork has been shown at several group exhibitions

in Greece in 2002 and 2003 and in Sweden in 2003, 2004 and 2005. She also had solo exhibitions in Sweden and Palestine. Hind is currently working on a solo exhibition of her paintings that will be shown sometime in May or June of this year in Stockholm’s old city.

Hind is married to a Palestinian and has two children. Learn more about the artist by visiting her home page on the Internet

Source: This Week in Palestine

May 2006

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