Memories of Lebanese Childhood Now on View in Lower Level Lobby
Now on view in the Lower Lobby Gallery is Places from My Childhood: Paintings of Lebanon, a solo exhibition featuring the artwork of local artist Linda Abadjian. The artwork is inspired by a trip the artist took to Lebanon in 2005. A Lebanon-native, Linda immigrated to the United States as a child in 1984 to escape the Lebanese Civil War. From a young age, she realized the importance of making art. For Linda, making art is a catharsis experience and allows her to reflect on her childhood memories.
About the Artwork
In her artist statement, Linda mentions that the bombed-out buildings, interiors and landscapes express the atrocities of war while simultaneously celebrating her love of nature and humanity. Persistent Sharpie lines emerge through layers of paint, mimicking the persistence of her childhood memories. A common motif found in many of her works is text. Whether in Armenian, Arabic or English, Linda concludes that these simple words mark her fragmented identity as a Lebanese-Armenian-American.
Linda Abadjian, Armenian Orphanage, 2008
Armenian Orphanage is one work on display that serves as a reminder for the horrors of the civil war. In the foreground of the painting is a sturdy stone-like pillar with Arabic text that indicates the work’s setting. A bombed out building, still in a state of disrepair, stands in the background. The blown away orange roof exposes the interior to the elements. A safe-haven for orphans, the now destroyed structure leaves one wondering what happened to the children that lived there. Text scroll vertically throughout the picture with word “fear” appearing multiple times.
Linda Abadjian, Chouf Mountains (Pines), 2012
A more serene work on display is Chouf Mountains (Pines), which renders the natural beauty of Lebanon. The Chouf region served as the setting for the War of the Mountain, a sub-conflict during the Lebanon Civil War. But on first glance, this bit of historical information could be lost on the viewer unfamiliar with Lebanese history. The work bares no obvious signs of conflict and perhaps emphasizes the adaptability of nature to return to form after the conflicts of man. Overlapping the scenic setting are ghostly, pink-purple outlines of hands. These forms reach for one another and could possibly symbolize the artist’s hope for unity and togetherness in what was once a war-torn country.
About the Artist
Linda Abadjian is a fine artist from Beirut, Lebanon. She received a BA in Painting from the Central Connecticut State University in 1994 and a MFA in Painting from the University of Hartford in 2006. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally with select exhibitions at the Patchogue Arts Gallery (Patchogue, NY), Troyer Gallery (Washington, DC) and the University of Wolverhampton (Walsall, England). Linda is a member of the Patchogue Arts Council and currently resides in Patchogue, NY. For more information on the artist, visit www.lindaabadjian.com.
Places from My Childhood: Paintings of Lebanon, featuring the artwork of Linda Abadjian, is on view now through November 30.
Linda Abadjian, Shemlan House, 2009