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FINDING CALM IN CHAOS, KELLY HADDAD

Art

Du 28/07/2023 à 11:00 jusqu'au 10/08/2023 à 11:00

Beirut/ New York, July 2023: 

 

“Finding Calm In Chaos” by Kelly Haddad will be showcased at Gemayzeh’s yet to be discovered, L’atelier by Maher Attar. The Lebanese heritage 1900’s residential building, is contemporary, traditional, and located amidst Beirut’s chaos. Pushing through a black iron cast gate, wandering up a staircase to the first floor, Haddad’s solo show consists of 15 artworks: acrylic on canvases and framed illustrations. Visitors will experience a glimpse of Haddad’s mind over a period of seven years. The decision to have her first solo show in Lebanon was motivated by her cravings for her culture, her love for her late grandparents’ mountain home, the instability of living in Lebanon and the desire to give back to a struggling community, that she can now call home. 

 

Haddad reflects “I took a long digital detox, cocooned in my late grandparents’ mountain home, and created, created, created...Although they aren’t around, my Teta’s 68-year-old jasmine tree has been a daily reminder of rebirth. When the house is closed, it dies, and when one of us in the family comes back, it blooms. I get goosebumps thinking about it every time.” For this series of work, Haddad spent the last two years speaking with the Lebanese people from all walks of life. Inspired by the curiosity of what makes people get up in the morning, she questioned “What makes you see the glass half full and not empty?” 

 

“I discovered that the notion of a glass being half full or half empty is controversial in itself— what if it’s filled or empty in ways outside of those bounds?” Haddad challenges. Kelly’s research and creative process led her to the concept of water in correlation to her character art and being in Lebanon. Haddad states “Water, in its purest form is nourishing and in its most destructive form can be drowning.” This made Haddad think about the destruction that has engulfed Lebanon over the years, but the simultaneous will of people to never give up. For people to keep filling their own glasses with the help of loved ones, self-motivation, and the diaspora, means that the inherent DNA of the Lebanese in unlike no other.

 

Born and raised in New York City to Lebanese parents, Kelly is considered diaspora herself, who has always supported Lebanon through her art and charity work. Kelly grew up as an American Arab trying to navigate her identity as such. Not American enough in New York, but not Lebanese enough in Lebanon. Learning Arabic, meeting Lebanese on the ground, and spending months at a time in Lebanon during challenging times provoked Haddad to bring her signature abstract and anonymous character to Lebanon. 

 

Haddad’s character is “inspired by the world around us but more so by the world inside our minds”, narrating mental health, wellness, and mindfulness in current times. The character symbolizes coexistence between a state of chaos and calm. Although paradoxical, the duality of states is present more than ever in all human beings today. Haddad explains “Through my character, I reflect on the introspection of our emotions and behaviors in reaction to everyday life, current events, cultural nuances, and the human experience and mind. She is me and she is you.” Highlight artworks include You Fill Me Up, Mama’s Stories, Invert(ed) and an untitled community piece to be donated to a select organization that mirrors Haddad’s vision—to be announced after the official public opening on Friday July 28th, 2023 from 11 – 5pm. Haddad says “Showcasing an interactive community piece, allows us all to be a part of the discourse I am putting forth on looking inwards. Art may not solve all our problems, but I’m a firm believer that art can help, open conversations and be a catalyst for healing through our own traumas.” 

 

Haddad’s character is an extension of herself, her story, and her vision for healing. The public official opening will be Friday July 28, 2023 from 11 - 5 pm and the show will run through to Thursday August 10, 2023 from 6 - 9 pm (closing show). Visiting hours will be on Tuesday August 1, 8, Wednesday 2, 9, Thursday 3, 10, from 2 - 6 pm. The “Finding Calm In Chaos” Solo Show by Kelly Haddad will feature two talks over the duration of the show which will be post official public opening- to be announced by Monday July 31, 2023. Topics will include mental health, succeeding under pressure against adversity and chaos, deciding to stay in Lebanon, and the future of mental health in the education system. Speakers include Forbes Top 10 Women in Tech MENA 2020 Entrepreneur Priscilla Elora Sharuk.

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