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Ranya Radwan

Talking to Nadine Feghaly

Image via Facebook

The talented illustrator and visual artist Nadine Feghaly shares with NOW her thoughts and experiences as a Lebanese artist living in Barcelona.

 


NOW: Who is Nadine Feghaly?


Born in Beirut, Nadine, an illustrator and visual artist, found herself playing with colors at an early age. As years went by, her passion to read, write, draw and create grew stronger. Intuitively, her passion led to the creation of viola’, the illustrated female character who was born during the July 2006 war with Israel. Through viola’ she expresses her emotions, dreams, pain, thoughts while trying to understand the beauty and absurdity of the world around her. What comes out feels more like “visual poems” or “visual haikus.”

 

 

From illustrating children’s books, to designing jewelry and accessories and creating public interventions and street art in Lebanon, she moved to Barcelona to specialize in illustration for children’s books.

 

Years later, her interests in the therapeutic uses of expressive arts and her love to create and share with kids grew stronger, and led her to begin studying art therapy in Barcelona where she still resides.

 


NOW: Where do you get your inspiration from?


From what goes on inside and outside of my world. From whatever comes to me.


I am mostly drawn to nature, harmony and silence. While dreaming of sunrises that color our cities, poetry speaks directly to my heart, like river water, like a voyage in a train, I look into people’s eyes, I try to be closer to my (our) fears and doubts, to the beauty of our tears and the smell when it rains.

 


Every little thing can inspire me (us); even a stupid war; even the cruelty of war and all that killing, even the killing of animals; my friends, who like us, search for a way to live freely; the absurdity of killing each other when we can choose to love, to love ourselves, to love our earth, to thank the trees for still being there for us. I get my inspiration from all of this and more. Everything inspires me and I try to observe it, absorb it, transform it and give it form with colors and words.

 



NOW: What does your artwork say about you?


It is something like an open window inside my room where you can listen and navigate inside my world; it somehow canalizes in words and colors my most intimate and personal visions and interpretations of reality. As it can reflect any political or social situation that I find myself in— a poem I long to share, a spiritual message that keeps repeating in my mind, an environmental preoccupation or a stubborn question that doesn’t want to leave...



NOW: Every artist attempts to deliver a message through their work. What message are you attempting to deliver?


I hope my work helps in bringing more awareness and sensibility about simple things in life, as a way to look innocently and compassionately at things and beings around us, as a way to enjoy our own solitude and silence, as a way to connect with our own music and our authentic self, being curious, asking questions that don’t have answers, looking for a home, inside and outside…

 


It feels more like planting a seed, as a way to participate in this life, but never knowing how it will grow or if it ever will, but you plant it anyway, without any expectations. If it grows, it is great, and if it doesn’t it is also great for you have learned a lot along the way.



NOW: Where or what place do you call home? Is this reflected in your artwork? If so, how?


I seriously started asking myself this question while being far from Beirut, when I moved to live between Barcelona, Spain, and Toulouse, France. I began to learn what nostalgia felt like. I moved into 8 houses in 3 years. Suitcases and carton boxes, again and again. At times it felt like home was the inside of carton boxes… I missed Beirut and its magical colors. I longed to hug my family and sleep in my bed. I missed the melodious laughter of my friends while swimming in the sea, the smell of a mankouché in the morning, and even the noise and chaos of the city…


But I also painfully learned that home is wherever I am, with my presence, my breath, my heart and soul fully letting myself experience what life presents to me, here and now in every moment.

 


No matter where I am, as long as I can breathe and create, home is within me. I stopped looking. How beautiful it is to feel home wherever we are, our hearts like the sky holding many stars, the earth and all around the globe can be called “home."



NOW: What are your future plans?


Creating and creating for as long as I can breathe.

 



You can check out more of Nadine's work here.

Image via Facebook

No matter where I am, as long as I can breathe and create, home is within me."