We woke up early for the two hour drive from the city, into the midst of the desert, and there it was... Barbed wire, security and dust; we had our passports and equipment thoroughly checked before entering. As we drove through the camp the vastness of it became clear, sand-coloured shelters in every direction, as far as the eye could see; the homes of 85,000 Syrian refugees.
Living as I do at the side of a river and with many beautiful lakes in the area I have no shortage of inspiration. Painting in oils is my preferred medium although I must admit oil painting can get a bit messy at times! I often work as a motivational speaker aboard cruise ships enabling me to travel the world, but always carry a sketchpad and paints in my luggage.
I imagine driving somewhere in a van, France, Italy, the sense of freedom makes me happy, I stop off at a beauty parlour in some small town and get my nails painted pale pink, my hair extra blonded, I feel good. I by chance get invited out to dinner by some vague male apparition, I go out of curiosity, this is like tripping, I try to see what he looks like, Dennis Weaver in McCloud, crikey.
I've been making paintings on hand-made paper for a few years now, I love the feel and look of them, not for the faint-hearted, a few crinkles can scare a canvas traditionalist off, I'm dead proud of them. One collector in LA said his framer had never seen anything like them, which I think is a bit of a compliment...
Martin Finnin current exhibition, titled: Renegade Amongst the Dusty Nouns, at the John Martin Gallery in Mayfair skilfully recreates an abstract world that consists of figures, movement and memories.
Critics might accuse the majority of the Palestinian diaspora's work as being political, and by implication less worthy of praise. But Halaby embraces the label. "Semantics!" she says to The Majalla, "Don't be fooled: everything we do is political. Staying silent is political . . . Yes, my art is political."