The Twelve Windows
The Twelve Windows project, created by Inaash and developed into a museum installation with world-renowned Palestinian installation artist Mona Hatoum, presents a ‘visual’ map of Palestine in a series of 12 exquisite embroidered panels. Each of these one square-meter ‘Windows’ represents, through its motifs, stitches and patterns, a key region of Palestine. Together they comprise a vibrant map of Palestine.
Rigorously planned by Malak Al Husseini Abdulrahim – the culmination of over 40 years of dedicated research and design – the panels were meticulously embroidered by Inaash’s most experienced craftswomen.
Drawing on the timeless designs of upper and lower Galilee, Jaffa, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jerusalem, Hebron, coastal and central Gaza and Beersheba in southern Palestine, the Twelve Windows explore historic Palestine through the longstanding tradition of its embroidery now one of the most tangible facets of Palestinian culture and a symbol of resistance.
In Hatoum’s hands the 12 panels were transformed into a brilliant metaphor for Palestinian life under occupation. The Twelve Windows installation was subsequently exhibited in Hatoum exhibitions in the Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland; the Alexander and Bronin Gallery, New York City, USA; the 2015 Arts of the Islamic World Gala at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA, and in major Hatoum Restrospectives at Le Centre Pompidou, Paris, France and Tate Modern, London, UK. It is slated for inclusion in Hatoum’s 2020 exhibition in the IVAM Museum Valencia, Spain where Hatoum was recently awarded the Julio Gonzales Prize.
The Twelve Windows was developed with the aid of a grant from Taawon.
Six stunning Galilee Revived embroidered panels feature – and in so doing revive – the patterns, stitches and motifs commonly practiced by Palestinian women embroiderers of the upper Galilee until the late 19th Century.
The panels (six panels 150 x 60) are the creation of veteran Inaash designer Malak Al Husseini Abdulrahim.
By drawing on the now extinct, highly complex geometrical patterns of the upper Galilee: Tiberius, Majd el Kroum, Kafr Yassif, Safad, Shafa Amr and Nazareth, Abdulrahim’s designs breath new life into those diminished communities and serve to reassert their existence. The panels thus become emblematic of the homeland and the state. This is a timely revival at a crucial moment
The panels were first exhibited in Al Sadu Museum, Kuwait. Later they were part of the Palestine Museum’s “At the Seams” exhibition in Dar El Nimer Cultural Centre Beirut.
Dancing Squares, Moving Circles
The vibrant paintings of internationally acclaimed Palestinian artist Samia Halaby are characterized by their use of abstraction and bold color. The luminosity of her work is one of its strongest facets. When Halaby donated a highly complex, geometrical image to Inaash to be interpreted through embroidery the first challenge was to try to capture this luminosity in thread.
The result is a vibrant, multi-colored, impeccably embroidered tapestry comprising 676 x 3.5cm squares that form a dazzling, dynamic whole, signed by the artist. This work was recently exhibited for the first time in Al Sadu Museum, Kuwait.
Loosely based on the Inaash Twelve Windows project, the multi award winning documentary film Stitching Palestine explores the meaning of traditional Palestinian embroidery within the context of a 21st century aesthetic. It analyzes the contemporary role of embroidery through a narrative articulated by twelve Palestinian women who are leaders in their field. These twelve women from disparate walks of life: lawyers, artists, housewives, activists, architects, and politicians stitch together the story of their homeland, of their dispossession, and of their unwavering determination that justice will prevail.
Produced jointly with Inaash and Taawon by Forward Film Productions, and directed by Carol Mansour, Stitching Palestine has been screened in North and South America, Australia, Asia, Europe and in the Middle East and received best documentary awards in Boston and Delhi.