Same Difference/the Holy Land (a 21st century travelogue)

These paintings were made after several visits to Israel and Palestine, most recently travelling in 2013 as part of a small mixed group of Leeds Muslims and Jews. The biggest challenge for me in creating this work  is the constant tension I feel in the choices I make between form and content on a subject which is so close to my heart. Nothing is simple on this issue. Nuance is everything.

 

The 'portraits' play with ambiguity, and challenge common assumptions about identity. They reference the dangers of simplistic labels and categorising. They are not 'portraits' in the normal sense, but rather are depictions reflecting my personal thoughts and ideas in response to seeing these subjects within their everyday. 

 

The later works move away from close scrutiny of individuals and look more widely at a landscape familiarised through the classical landscape and travelling tourist sketchbook tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries. But the land and urban scenes depicted in these works can never be “just” landscapes. Superficially ordinary surroundings are background to superficially ordinary daily activities; shopping, playing, walking. The oddly dissonant elements present remind us that these “normal” lives on both sides of the green line are anything but.

 Ice cream in Jenin

Ice cream in Jenin

(2011) oil on paper mounted on board, acrylic resin finish

Holon Suburb with Danger 2014

Holon Suburb with Danger 2014

Oil on canvas with collage element 110x140cm

Girl with Doll (2014)

Girl with Doll (2014)

oil with tape on canvas.jpg

israeli (Security/insecurity) 2014

israeli (Security/insecurity) 2014

acrylic on perspex, spray paint

Postcards from the Holy Land (2014).jpg

Postcards from the Holy Land (2014).jpg

Postcard sized watercolour, pen and wash, and oil sketches of quintessential biblical landscapes and contemporary urban scapes with incongruent 21st century publicity and notices

Good friends from both sides- dialogue happens (2010) mixed media on canvas with

Good friends from both sides- dialogue happens (2010) mixed media on canvas with

(2010) mixed media on canvas with

Shoppers in Ramallah

Shoppers in Ramallah

(2011) digital painting:mixed media on board with resin finish

Jewish Mother, Christian Pilgrim

Jewish Mother, Christian Pilgrim

(2011) mixed media on paper, mounted on board, resin finish

Reading (overlooked)

Reading (overlooked)

(2013) oil on board

figure study

figure study

2013 Household enamel on paper

Bedouin Woman and Child (Engineer's

Bedouin Woman and Child (Engineer's

Bedouin Woman and Child (Engineer's family) (II) (2013) mixed media on board

School's out (Beit Jalah)

School's out (Beit Jalah)

School's out (Beit Jalah) (2013) mixed media on canvas

child, Hebron, past and present

child, Hebron, past and present

tondo, collage and oil, resin finish

jerusalem house (demolished)

jerusalem house (demolished)

oil on canvas with wire, resin finish

Safe/Unsafe Passage (beit jalah)

Safe/Unsafe Passage (beit jalah)

(2013) oil on canvas

figure studies

figure studies

enamel on paper

Tent of Nations

Tent of Nations

Tent of Nations (I will not be enemies) (2013) triptych mixed media on canvas

Exposed/View over to Gaza

Exposed/View over to Gaza

(2013) mixed media on canvas with acrylic resin finish

IMG_4909.jpeg

IMG_4909.jpeg

child at play (contemporary fort)

child at play (contemporary fort)

2013, oil, collage, canvas

shelter/unsheltered in Sderot

shelter/unsheltered in Sderot

enamel on paper

Bedouin Woman and Child

Bedouin Woman and Child

Bedouin Woman and Child (Engineer's family) (2013) mixed media on board

teenage shoppers (contemporary fort)

teenage shoppers (contemporary fort)

oil on canvas, partial resin

engineer's wife and child

engineer's wife and child

Diptych-Veiled assumptions I and II- Jews and Christians Wear Veils Too (2010) d

Diptych-Veiled assumptions I and II- Jews and Christians Wear Veils Too (2010) d

Jews and Christians Wear Veils Too (2010)

Gillian Holding. Two Palestians (Guard and Dispossessed) 2010. mixed media on ca

Gillian Holding. Two Palestians (Guard and Dispossessed) 2010. mixed media on ca

2010. mixed media on canvas, acrylic resin finish

Teacher with Boy

Teacher with Boy

(2011) mixed media on paper mounted on board with resin finish

Some Children Have Violin Lessons in Ramallah (2010)  mixed media on canvas with

Some Children Have Violin Lessons in Ramallah (2010) mixed media on canvas with

(2010) mixed media on canvas with

Just because I live in Jerusalem doesn’t make me religious (and sometimes Jews a

Just because I live in Jerusalem doesn’t make me religious (and sometimes Jews a

(and sometimes Jews are black)

 (Palestinian) (Muslim)

(Palestinian) (Muslim)

2010. Mixed Media on canvas with resin finish, 10" x 12"

 (Palestinian) (Christian)

(Palestinian) (Christian)

2010. mixed media on canvas with resin finish,

© 2017 Gillian Holding