Tunisian-Finnish artist’s ‘Bitter Oranges’ show is anything but

The exhibition will run until March 14. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 27 February 2020

Tunisian-Finnish artist’s ‘Bitter Oranges’ show is anything but

DUBAI: Tunisian-Finnish multimedia artist Dora Dalila Cheffi relocated to Tunisia a little over a year ago and has already unveiled her first solo exhibition, “Bitter Oranges,” which will run until March 14.

After obtaining her BA from Finland’s Aalto University of Art, School and Design in 2018, with a minor in sculpting and painting, Cheffi went on to showcase her works in group exhibitions at institutions and fairs, including Habitare and Galerie Kajaste Helsinki.

When asked how it felt to see her first solo exhibition open, Cheffi was characteristically positive: “It feels really nice,” she shared with Arab News.

A testament to the artist’s versatility, the month-long showcase is divided into four components that highlight different mediums: Paintings, ceramic pieces, a video documentary and a sound installation that she calls her most personal work.




The auditory installation takes the Finnish National Hymn and translates it to Tunisian Arabic. (Supplied)

The auditory installation, “Finlandia,” which is inspired by Cheffi’s mixed Tunisian and Finnish roots, is a thought-provoking exploration of the complexity of dual identity, a core theme of the exhibition.

The piece takes the Finnish National Hymn, originally composed by Jean Sibelius, and translates it to Tunisian Arabic. It’s sung in a traditional “Mawwal” style, which is a popular Arabic music genre that is known for its slow and sentimental nature and is characterized by prolonging syllables.

Also on show is a series of beautifully hand-made ceramics that the artist learnt how to make while spending a week with pottery-makers from the Tunisian town of Sejnane, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.




Also on show is a series of beautifully hand-made ceramics and brightly-colored paintings. (Supplied)

The artist spent afternoons grinding rock into powder and kneading fresh clay with her feet before heating the ceramics on an open hearth fired with dried cow dung and decorating them with seashells collected from the shores of the Mediterranean. The Amazigh-inspired pieces are accompanied with a 10-minute documentary that details the process.

Meanwhile, a selection of brightly-colored paintings celebrate the everyday, depicting “people and things” from the artist’s “day to day life.”

For Cheffi, art doesn’t have to be constrained to one medium, in the same way the artist has the ability to embrace her dichotomous identity. “I love the fact that I don’t have to commit to one specific technique. I can explore different materials and ways of creating,” she mused, before revealing “Balancing my very different Finnish and Tunisian cultures is something that I’ve struggled with. But in my artwork, they seamlessly mesh together.”

 


Instagram flooded with well wishes as influencer Leena Kaziz hospitalized

Updated 2 min 20 sec ago

Instagram flooded with well wishes as influencer Leena Kaziz hospitalized

DUBAI: This week, social media feeds were flooded with well-wishes for Dubai-based fashion influencer Leena Kaziz, who was hospitalized from what appears to be a severe allergic reaction. The Syrian influencer posted a picture of herself with swollen eyes and hooked up to an IV at the hospital on Instagram this week, prompting regional influencers and bloggers to comment and wish her a speedy recovery. 

“Hbb sending you lots of love and well wishes, you got this! (sic)” wrote Fozaza in the comment section. Lebanese television host and entrepreneur Joelle Mardinian also took to the comments to share her well wishes. “Omg get well soon,” she wrote alongside the praying hands emoji. 

“Thank you to each and everyone who messaged and/or called,” wrote Kaziz on Instagram. “Thank you for your kindness and prayers. It means the world to me. I am trying to stay positive. Hopefully getting better and will recover soon,” she said.

Various media outlets are reporting that Kaziz allegedly suffered an allergic reaction from a lash-lifting procedure she had undergone. The influencer hasn’t confirmed the allegations, and wrote that she will soon share the details of what happened.

“I promise I will share the details of what happened to me soon,” she said. “Everyone deserves to know. I love you my lovelies.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Since I was young I used to sneak into my mom’s dressing room to play with her makeup and jewelry, I grew up obsessed with finding ways to make myself prettier. I knew I was enough just the way I was but I still got carried away with what is only normal in our world.. being skinny, having shiny long hair, long sexy lashes, fuller lips, better under eyes, and so on. I knew I was enough but I still got carried away. With time I started measuring how precious my body was with calories and appeal. Instead of how well it’s been keeping me alive! I almost forgot the true purpose of my eyes.. my sight! As if They only existed for me to make them prettier! I forgot how blessed I am to have all of my senses! What happened to me was a wakeup call! We are often too obsessed with becoming prettier and more appealing that we forget to really protect ourselves from our own self. [I am thankful for my own self just the way I was created. My self.. My body.. Working day and night to keep me alive. I will never allow myself to forget that.] ‎من وقت ما كنت صغيرة كنت أتسلل لغرفة ملابس أمي لإلعب بمكياجها ومجوهراتها ، كبرت وانا مهووسة بإيجاد طرق لخلي حالي أجمل. كنت بعرف أني انا كافيًا تمامًا متل ما انا ، بس ضليت متاخدة بيلي صار طبيعي بعالمنا .. كون نحيفة ، وشعري طويل لامع ، رموشي طويلة ،شفافي كبيرة ، وتحت العينين أفضل ، وكتير شغلات غير. كنت بعرف أنني حلوة متل ما انا بس ضليت متاخدة. ‎مع مرور الوقت بدأت قياس مدى قيمة جسمي بالالسعرات الحرارية والجاذبية. بدل ما قدر جسمي على قدرتو انو يخليني عايشة! ‎عشوي كنت بنسى الهدف الحقيقي من عيني .. ويلي هوة بصري! كأنو عيوني نوجدو بس لخليون أجمل! نسيت كم أنا محظوظة أنو عندي كل حواسي! ‎يلي صار معي هالفترة فيقني و فتحلي عيوني عالحقيقة! غالبًا ما منكون مهووسين أنو نصير أجمل وأكثر جاذبية لدرجة أنو مننسى حماية أنفسنا من أنفسنا. ‎[أنا ليوم ممتن لنفسي بالطريقة التي خلقت فيها. ذاتي .. جسدي .. يلي بيشتغل ليل نهار ليخليني عايشة. ما حإسمح لنفسي أنو أنسى هاد الشي أبدًا.]

A post shared by Leena Kaziz | لينا قزيز (@leenakaziz) on

On Wednesday, she shared a cryptic post with her 324,000 Instagram followers, saying that what happened to her “was a wakeup call.”

“We are often too obsessed with becoming prettier and more appealing that we forget to really protect ourselves from our own self,” she said in a lengthy text. “I am thankful for my own self just the way I was created. My self... my body... Working day and night to keep me alive. I will never allow myself to forget that.”

In addition to thoughtful comments and well wishes, Kaziz also received plenty of flowers from Dubai’s it-girls, including from Libyan Maram Zbaeda, who sent the influencer a colorful bouquet.