Basharat Bashir

Laila Shawa: Artist and Artwork

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Renowned Palestinian artist Laila Shawa is known for her use of bold colours and illustrative designs to depict violence, political turmoil, the plight of children and resistance in Palestine. Her work has been described as a personal reflection concerning the politics of her country, particularly highlighting perceived injustices and persecution. She is one of the most prominent and prolific artists of the Arabic revolutionary contemporary art scene.

Born in Gaza in 1940, eight years prior to the Palestinian Nakba and the founding of the State of Israel, Shawas work includes painting, sculpture and installations. She also works with photographs that serve as the base for her silkscreen printing. Her work has been internationally exhibited and is displayed in many public and private collections.

Shawa, who also illustrates children’s books, studied in Cairo, Rome, and Austria, and worked for United Nations children’s art programs in Gaza in the 1960s. Her work has been exhibited around Europe, the Arab world, Russia, China, Malaysia and the United States. It is represented in collections of the National Galleries of Jordan and Malaysia and the British Museum.

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