Motherland is an exhibition by Tom Young ,taking place at Beit Beirut museum- Sodeco .
It is a constellation of different moments in recent Lebanese history from the Declaration of Independence in 1943 to the struggles of recent years, whilst the transcendent beauty of Mother Nature lives on.
It is not intended as a complete chronological history, but a subjective view perceived through the lens of archival research and personal experience, It coincides with Lebanese ‘Independence’ Day.
Tom Young is no stranger to Lebanon. Having spent more than a decade living and working in Beirut, the respected British artist has developed a deep emotional connection to the country. We learn more about his journey through his incredibly moving and inspiring works of art.When he arrived to Lebanon he felt at home immediately and had a strong sensation that he had been here before. Somehow he already knew his way around. Having watched many news reports about the civil war, which were broadcast on British television almost every day when he were growing up, Lebanon had already been in his consciousness at a particularly tragic time in his life; when he was 10, his mother died in traumatic circumstances, and he had suddenly moved away from my beloved childhood home. Then his grandfather and cat died shortly afterwards.
In Lebanon,he felt immediately understood and recognized — as if his memory of pain, loss and displacement had also been experienced by most Lebanese in a way that very few people in his own country had experienced. This is an emotional connection which transcends national identity. he see his personality reflected in the scarred walls of the city and empty abandoned mansions. he aims to do what he can to give them life. he admires the resilience and spirit of people in Lebanon to recover from tragedy, and recognize something very familiar about that. And of course, there’s the kindness and generosity of people in Lebanon, the joy and celebration, music, art, delicious food and wine, the rich variety of beautiful landscapes and historic sites. There is a vibrant energy here which inspires him to paint unlike anywhere else in the world, and also an urgency to capture things before they go. For it is a place of transience and perpetual change. It is under threat from aggressive neighbors and self-serving local politicians. This unique treasure of culture and creativity must be valued and supported —now more than ever.
The exhibition gives no answers; it provokes questions and provides a cultural space for reflection. How did it begin? What was the original vision? Where are we now? How may we improve the situation?
Talks by Lebanese Tourist Guides Syndicate Dr.Issam khalife and Dr.Joseph Issa will be featured about Lebanon’s quest for Independence, with musical performances of songs by Elie Choueiry performed live by Karim Al Shaer.
the exhibition opens on Monday evening 21st November and runs until 30th November, 11am-7pm