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Nada MattaFollow Artist
The Life and Career of Nada Matta
Nada Matta is a Lebanese artist who was born in 1968 in Matn. She studied in France, graduating from ATEP Ecole d’art et de Communication Visuelle, Paris, before completing her artistic training at La Danse d’Expression Alain et Françoise, Chantraine.
Matta has spoken openly about the impact of the challenges of a difficult childhood endured during the civil war, before marrying young and raising a large family. Witnessing so much of what she’d built then disintegrate before her eyes prompted her to carve a new path as an independent woman which, in turn, unleashed new self-awareness and creativity, as she acknowledged and explored the traumas buried deeply inside. Taking pleasure in the simple joys of life, she explained, gave her enormous strength to share through her art.
Understanding Nada Matta’s Art
Nada Matta works in Chinese ink on paper, in a process that involves delicately, but clearly, marking her outlines, which are then completed and enhanced through the use of carefully chosen coloured acrylic and gold leaf.
Lebanon’s glorious nature is a key theme in Matta’s work, especially the breathtaking slopes and peaks of the mountains in her beloved Matn. Other sources of inspiration range from forests of majestic pine trees and fields filled with wild flowers to roaming butterflies and the fireflies that emerge at dusk, all of which instil a sense of tranquillity and offer a haven away from the angst, turmoil and chaos associated with war and conflict. Even in vast woodlands, where huge trees dominate, often captured from an upward perspective, light shines through, in the same way that young plants signal hope and promise, their flowers a burst of colour, scattered among the forest’s age-old inhabitants. Nada also interweaves figures and faces into her work, intriguingly immersed and entwined in their surroundings, from branches in foliage melded with windswept hair to bodies in fields of flowers. Her messages include reminders that we all occupy the same world, bound together by something so much bigger than the individual components. Matta seeks out sensory triggers – fleeting, almost imperceptible experiences – that invigorate us in difficult times and remind us of what it means to be alive, from the breath of the breeze to the rush of a stream.
Nada Matta’s Achivements
Nada Matta’s work has been exhibited in Lebanon and abroad. Recent shows include a solo exhibition in Beirut, titled ‘Free Hatchlings’, which marked a collaboration between Artscoops and Janine Rubeiz gallery (2022) and another at Mission Art, Beirut (2019). She has also taken part in a number of collectives held in the capital city, such as a pop-up titled ‘Women of Beirut: Untold Stories’, organised by the Artists of Beirut initiative (2020) and another focused on the October 17 revolution at Janine Rubeiz gallery. In a separate project, Matta’s work was featured at a ‘Beyond Fashion’ event at Tony Ward Fashion House. Abroad, Matta’s work has been shown in Paris at collective exhibitions titled ‘Vivre un Jour de Plus’ at H Gallery (2020) and Dessin (2019).
Nada Matta has also produced several illustrated children’s books, including ‘Petite Pépite’ – her first – which won the Prix Sorcières 2017, in the albums category, giving her the confidence and impetus to continue on her chosen path. She works today at her studio in Matn.
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