For more than two years, the Gaza Strip has been associated with images of death and destruction. In reality the situation is much more catastrophic and painful than it seems. People in Gaza are still living under harsh conditions, deprived of their basic rights and prevented from living a normal life.
Despite this horrible situation, artist Dina Matar and many other artists living in Gaza are determined to produce fine art and to present it to the Gaza community. Due to their determination and spirit of resistance, the art scene in Gaza has reached a new level of self-expression where art has become a refuge for the souls of those who live in the shadow of the Israeli siege and who struggle against the constant attempts to strip them of their humanity.
Born in Gaza 25 years ago, Dina is a member of Iltiqaa collective for young artists who work in Gaza. Despite her young age she has developed her own unique childlike style which she considers to be a way to manipulate the sad surrounding reality and to represent it from a different perspective that is full of hope and optimism rather than encumbered by dark and lifeless colours. Dina explains that through her art she tries to rekindle positive feelings - her own as well as those of the people around her and those who view her art.
Dina is strongly influenced by Pablo Picasso’s Cubist style in the way she deals with the structures and lines within a space. Yet she manages to assert her originality by using extremely bright colours and her characteristic simple approach.
Dina’s work can be deceiving, as the first childlike and innocent impressions can quickly turn into harsh images. As one delves deeper into the details, the paintings start to reveal stories and presentations of the reality in Gaza and Palestine. Dina believes that despite those who criticise her style, she will continue to provoke the viewer to probe the meaning of her work, to ponder the closed circles and the overloaded houses, and at the same time to search for freedom in the colourful spaces and long lines.
Dina graduated in 2007 from Al-Aqsa University, were she received a bachelor’s degree in educational art. She has been an active participant in the UNRWA summer camps and has participated in various exhibitions in Palestine and abroad.