Mounira Al Solh


Lebanese artist Mounira Al Solh is the 2024 recipient of the Derek Williams Trust Artes Mundi Purchase Prize.

Credit: Mounira Al Solh

Credit: Mounira Al Solh, In Love in Blood © Mounira Al Solh / Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales

Mounira Al Solh, born and raised in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war, creates work as a form of witness to the stories and lived experiences of those affected by continuing conflicts, oppression, and patriarchal regimes across the Middle East region, particularly focusing on the struggles of women. Informed by her own Lebanese-Syrian heritage, and developing work collaboratively with others, she considers the importance of oral histories and storytelling as a record of these experiences. In contrast, her paintings are a solitary practice whereby clashing realities from within the Arab world playfully emerge, breaking all borders.


She has had exhibitions at Museumsquartier Osnabrück, Germany (2022); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2022); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2020); Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai (2018); Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha (2018); and The Art Institute Chicago (2018).

Several pieces from the series In Love in Blood (2023) by Mounira Al Solh have been selected for the prize in 2024. The textile works are characteristic of Al Solh’s practice utilising embroidery and encompassing her interest in using storytelling and language in all its complexity, its nuance and shifts of meaning. The individual embroideries each illustrate one word from a list compiled by Ibn Qayyim El Jawziyya, a medieval Islamic theologian who lived in Damascus in the 13th century. This catalogues more than 50 ways of expressing love, based on the extent, the level, or the nuance of the emotion The collection of Arabic words includes affection, worship, passion, blood, nostalgia, grief and folly, amongst many others.


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