Prestige issue 287-288, Dec. 2017-Jan. 2018
«The theme Dream, Earth and Fire summarizes life»
Joining marvelously the pen to the brush paint, the painter Joumana Haswany unveils in her first book De Rêve, de Terre et de Feu, multilingual talents.
How was the idea of the book born? The idea was in my unconscious since a long time. I had to support the canvases because my work follows a unique theme: Dream, Earth and Fire. It was also due to the unceasing need to search continuously. The procedure to express the emotions and externalize them through art is the same no matter the nature of the art. The «mechanism» is the same.
Did you compile all your works in this book? No, not all my works. I compiled the works related to the cedars village; the subtitle of my book. The nature there is an element part of my being. It is the source of my inspiration in my paintings and the echo of my life.
Is it a biography told through the paint brush? When we paint, the soul transcends the body and we become transparent; we confide freely, we discharge without restraint, we let go. A first book is also a concealed form of biography of the author.
Why did you choose this title? It’s a theme that summarizes life. All begins with a dream and to realize it, comes the earth, resistance and hard work. And all needs fuel, where the fire comes or passion. These are essential elements nourishing life by life. A balance and an elevation. On my credit there is a list of individual and collective exhibitions in Lebanon and abroad bearing all the same title.
The Qadisha valley is omnipresent in your works… The house where I was born has a view on the sacred valley, the Qadisha valley. This valley evokes in me the most intense feelings translated in a luminous energy. The history of this valley is as rich. It left us a religious and cultural heritage rooted in the collective unconscious.
What does the man with blue eyes represent? He incarnates the people of the region. A face that gives the impression of a hard personality and at the same time reflects the precious beauty of a heart that charms the soul. A smooth but violent impression, simple but clever and defying.
What do you feel when you make your auto-portrait? Exactly the same thing when I paint a landscape or a portrait. I find myself in a tree, a valley, a mountain or another person. Sometimes, because I examine and look so much at a canvas, I loose simultaneously my subjectivity and my objectivity. I put the canvas in front of a mirror, and I look at it under that same angle. It is at this moment that I really break it down. This is the case of the auto-portraits.
Blue and yellow dress the children in the canvas. What is the link? Very sincerely I assure you that some decisions are not thoroughly thought about. I take them because I feel inspired, it satisfies me and is according to my state of mind. If I try to analyze myself through this canvas, I would say because I am mother and at the same time child of this land.
Your style is marked by poetry, philosophy and optimism…This book embraces my thoughts, my heart and thousand colors. I left emotions and sentiments guide my hand. Adjustments came later. A mathematical work vertically and horizontally took place. My book is written in three languages and the forth one is that of my canvases. Schematically speaking, facing every canvas I wrote in English, French and Arabic. I managed to make sure that the expression in one of the languages be philosophic, the second poetic, the third light, inspired from everyday life, sometimes funny. It’s the style «parts of life». As for optimism it exists strongly and with conviction.
Would you make a second experience in the same style? The Dream, the earth and fire are the depths of the soul, the body and the spirit. It’s an indivisible one. A book where the element «Fire» dominates, the «spirit» gets over. A second book is in preparation where the «earth» commands and a third one where the «dream» surpasses. I take profit of the occasion to thank my editor Antoine and Noise Sarl. I also would like to thank my friend Claudine Aoun Roukoz for her preface, her unconditional and continuous support and her sponsorship of the signature of my book at the book fair of Biel. Interview Conducted by Mireille Bouabjian