|Arts & Culture
|Marcelle Mansour THRESHOLD Art Exhibition|
Healing and Transformation via Light and Perception
Marcelle Mansour THRESHOLD Art Exhibition
Healing and Transformation via Light and Perception
Threshold solo Art Exhibition by Artist Marcelle Mansour, was opened by His Excellency Izzat Abdulhadi, Ambassador and Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to the Commonwealth of Australia on Wednesday the 2nd of April 2014, at Bankstown Arts Centre, Studio 1 Gallery, in the presence of a number of eminent guest speakers and a crowd of prominent personalities from Australian Arabic Speaking Communities. The exhibition was presented by Bankstown Arts Centre, Bankstown City Council and the Sydney College for the Arts, University of Sydney. It was also supported by the Australian Palestinian Club, together with the Union of Palestinian Workers, and the Australian Middle East Media.
The exhibition coincided with world commemorating and remembering the centenary of the First World War, along with UN declaring 2014 as the ‘Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.’ It focuses on spiritual and socio-political change, hoping to end war and to celebrate rebirth of world peace within democracy.
Guest speakers included Clr Khal Asfour, the Mayor of Bankstown City Council; His Excellency Izzat Abdulhadi, Ambassador and Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to the Commonwealth of Australia; The Honourable Shaoquett Moselmane, MLC, MP Member of the Australian Labor Party; Mr Tony Issa, OAM MP, Member of Legislative Assembly, Member of the Australian Liberal Party; and Professor Colin Rhodes, Dean of the Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney. The event concluded with the Marcelle’s talk, supported by the MC Presenter, Mr Sarkis Karam.
Khal Asfour welcomed everyone to the venue, and spoke about Marcelle’s passion as a humanitarian in supporting the Palestinian cause, through her art and use of light, as an effective medium to serve a special purpose towards peace with justice. Khal said “I am here tonight to pay a tribute to Marcelle as an artist, a writer and an academic in the past and now...this exhibition witnesses the true meaning of art.”
His Excellency Izzat Abdulhadi stated that Threshold Art exhibition is an important action as an Australian Palestinian Christian Artist conveying an authentic message of beauty, transformation, freedom and peace. It is an important contribution to the Australian Palestinian Art, as an important action of the artistic reality of resilience in a highly sophisticated way as an effective path towards peace with justice. “Marcelle’s work today brings to the mind the works of other prominent Palestinian artists, poets and writers such as Edward Said and Mahmoud Darwish....In Marcelle’s work we recognise the importance of transformation, to end war, oppression and occupation to self determination...2014 is the year of solidarity and has been called for the international community to uphold the rights of the Palestinians to self determination with comprehensive peace...This exhibition is a reminder for people and international law, that we Palestinians don’t leave our land. Marcelle used the most powerful weapon of weapons.”
The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane, MLC. mentioned the exhibition to be interesting and unusual, where he had never seen anything like it before, especially in our communities. The art gallery was dark and full of light, emanated from the artworks. The Hon. was taken into a journey and said, “That is where the imagination takes you through a journey to perceive what you are, and to see and feel what Marcelle wants to convey to us...I would like to say that art is a language...Marcelle expresses her views in art, in a very creative way...not only acknowledging the traditional owners of the Palestinian land, but also acknowledging the Palestinian artistic expression to convey the message of peace and hope.”
Tony Issa OAM said: “Congratulations, not only to yourself, but to everyone who are able to learn and enjoy your exhibition. I want to say congratulations to you, and to dear Palestine, your own country that sent you as an ambassador around the world …”
Professor Colin Rhodes said the attendance at the exhibition’s opening was “testament to the power of the arts”.
Professor Colin Rhodes was delighted to attend and support the Palestinian people in the International year of Solidarity with Palestinians. Professor Rhodes said “This attendance is a testament of the power of the arts...My role here is a representative of Sedney College for the Arts, the University of Sydney, where Marcelle completed two Masters Degrees - Master of Fine Arts and Master of Studio Arts. It is my support to someone who is creative, and succeeded as a part of the journey...While we are looking at these fantastic artworks, they are a kind of communicative life, talking the unusual universal language of art that is really important and different from spoken language. As I say, it really gives me great pride to be in front of this art, which has a healing presence, and depth of humanity...There is something about its spiritual luminosity that is numinous beyond the fact that light is used here as an art of communication, something that connects directly with the human being, and connects us with nature into the universe, that is to talk about real humanitarian actions we have in the world and with each other.” Professor Rhodes ended “Congratulations Marcelle it is really fantastic.”
The speeches were concluded with the Marcelle’s talk on her art that was inspired by her Eastern and Western roots and illuminating light, where she explored the phenomena of perception as a path to self-knowledge and wisdom. The changeable colourful light is used as a material and perception as a medium, without the use of paint or figures to emphasise the representation of non-person and the presence of the Invisible through the power of light and perception as a body-mind lived experience. Marcelle spoke on the significance of alchemical elements and materials she used in her art, including gauze which originated from Gaza her birthplace; marble stones and bread from Sts Michael and Gabriel Church in Sydney; salt, frankincense, olive oil and earth sands which were brought from Jerusalem.
Marcelle said the reason behind her work is her strong desire to end occupation and war in Palestine, and to heal humanity towards remaking love and peace within justice and democracy. The work also is beneficial to inspire viewers in terms of how to rethink about themselves and the world in a contemplative environment so they may be able to reshape realities. Marcelle stated “I paint with light as a focal point to explore the mystery and reveal the invisible. This perception is appreciated by the spirituality within various religions, regardless of Ethnic origins, because of the abstraction of form. This may depend on viewers’ visions and thoughts, which make them a part of my work.”
Marcelle thanked all the people that attended, including guest speakers, the distinguished personalities, attendees, and media followed by an invitation to view and experience the art of light, perception, and to share their direct lived experience.
Marcelle’s work as a body of art brought all the communities together to unite as oppose to divide. It was a successful exhibition where the viewers had an open mind to view, to learn and to share various feelings and insights, whether it was socio political, spiritual or humanitarian. There was a lot to see and perceive in sharing those moments. The proceeds of the event supported the Heart Foundation.
Threshold solo Art Exhibition by Marcelle Mansour has been included in the, Year Review 2013 Group Show, and was described as “thoughtful and inspiring”, and was further hosted in the New York City gallery space during Armory Week NYC, in March 2014 at See.Me Exhibition Space. It is also a “Touring Exhibition.”