Manal Mahamid grew up in Muawiya, a village in the suburbs of Umm El Fahem, Israel, where the population is predominantly Palestinian-Arab. Her work embodies a struggle to confront and reconcile her childhood memories of the place as it was, with the reality of what it has become: two parallel worlds, in which time acts as a dividing wall.
Her private and emotional narrative provides an insight to the story of her motherland and its children. Although clearly personal, and rooted in her relationship to “home”, her work transcends geographical and cultural barriers, whilst embracing collective emotions as a mother tongue.
Drawing on nostalgia and the romantic relationship to one’s native soil, Manal uses, in her work, a metaphorical language, which sees the love letter, the flower, the wall, the pillar and vapour as signifiers of universal experiences. The evident dialogue between the artist and the surrounding architecture is paced by the unsettling tensions between presence and absence, past and present, material and immaterial, ephemeral and permanent, which punctuate her work.