Sliman Mansour is one of the most distinguished and renowned artists in Palestine. His style embodies steadfastness in the face of a relentless military occupation. His work — which has come to symbolise the Palestinian national identity — has inspired generations of Palestinians and international artists and activists alike. Born in 1947, Mansour spent his childhood around the verdant hills and fields of Birzeit — where he was born — and later his adolescence in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. These experiences left a significant mark on his work, heightening a sense of gradual loss in Palestine, especially after the occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1967. His early experiences also presented him with the symbols and images he would later use to preserve and highlight Palestinian identity. By using symbols derived from Palestinian life, culture, history, and tradition, Mansour uniquely illustrates Palestinians’ resolve and connection with their land. His pieces epitomize art as a form of resistance. With orange trees, he represents land lost in the Nakba of 1948. With olive trees, he represents land occupied in 1967. With women wearing traditional embroidered dresses, he represents Palestinian land and the Palestinian revolution. With the landscape of Palestine and its stone terraces, he represents the mark of Palestinian farmers on the land. With images of Jerusalem, and the glistening Dome of the Rock, he represents the Palestinian homeland and the dream of return. Mansour, together with artists Vera Tamari, Tayseer Barakat, and Nabil Anani, founded the New Visions movement in 1987. The movement was formed in response to the first intifada, and called on artists to boycott Israeli art supplies and instead utilize local natural materials such as coffee, henna, and clay. Mud — the basis for human life in many cultures and religions as well as an actual piece of Palestinian land — was a tool of choice for Mansour.
Follow Sliman Mansour in Return Week II
Art Exhibition: Visualising ReturnFollow this event on Facebook