Art in Amman’s heart

After beautiful Amman Design Week I really wanted to explore the city’s art scene a bit more, and yesterday I was blessed to have the time and the perfect company to do so.

We started off with Wadi Finan Art Gallery (http://wfinangallery.com/, also on facebook), comprised of two tiny tiny rooms near Rainbow Street and of a stunning house with a quietly elegant garden just 100m away. We were the only visitors and the guardian kindly took us from the first to the second venue, and opened it up for us. It felt as if we were very special guests 🙂 I guess not many people think of art on Saturday mornings!

Right now Wadi Finan is mostly devoted to the works of Hamza Bounoua, an Algerian artist who studied in Paris and is “inspired by the Berbers, Islamic and African art and ethnicities” (I’m copying from the official leaflet). His exhibition is named Through Letters and “shows abstraction in letters, geometrical shapes and shadows of figures with a flow of colors soft and powerful”. What I found particularly interesting, beyond the visual appeal of his works, was their layered structure of paint on Plexiglas. But here, see for yourself!! Most of my pics are of details rather than of wholes.

Oh, and here you can see the gallery’s lovely outdoor space 🙂

Next on the list was Nabad Art Gallery, Pulse of the Art Scene (http://www.nabadartgallery.com/, and again also of facebook), just a short stroll away. We were welcomed by another amazing green courtyard, and by an immediate feeling of serenity.

Under the uniting title of Trendsetting VIINabad currently hosts the works of seven designers “who work across artistic disciplines to create limited-edition functional and decorative pieces”: Omar Bilbeisi, Maha Kawar, Hania Kuzbari, Boutros Al Maari, sisters Alia Mango Zabian and Susan Mango Taher (of Jordanian, Italian and Colombian origins!! That resonated with me), and Lara Zureikat. While they were all intriguing in their own ways, I especially liked Al Maari’s joyful, folkloric Damascus-inspired characters; and Zureikat’s “patterns that celebrate the unique adaptation of Jordan’s native grasses and thistles, and that are intended for application on textiles, screens, wall paper or glass”.

The view from Nabad’s terrace wasn’t bad, either…

and then we thought our tour was over, but HEY! As we walked back to the main road, a sign attracted our attention and…guess what? Yes, another incredible courtyard with trees and a fountain, entrance to a delightful old building, was waiting for us!! We soon learnt it was NOFA: a creative space “dedicated to creativity, serenity, music, culture, & history” born after the renovation of an ophtalmologist/ military man/ Minister of Agriculture‘s house and named after his beautiful mother.

I just love the contrast of that old phone with the modern painting above it 😉

On our way back we also visited the spacious and well-organised Shoman Library near 1st Circle, admired the stunning façade of the Embassy of Iraq, and noticed some really cool pieces in an antiques shop… you gotta adore that Spongebob Squarepants! I might get it as my sister’s Christmas present… hehehehe

Keep posted for October exhibitions and news from other galleries 🙂

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