Orenda Art Works is proud to announce an upcoming exhibition of art by Romanian-Palestinian artist Inas Al-soqi. The exhibition, titled “Ameles Potamos” is deeply inspired by the artist’s life and travels.
Orenda Art Works is a NYC-based art group that believes in investing in the arts. A group that was founded to provide enriching artistic experiences to art makers and art lovers alike, all of the programming at Orenda Art Works underscores the vital importance creative expression and cultural exchange has in a community. Anyone who is a member of Orenda Art Works is invited to participate in collaborative projects while also honing their own works and skills. Derived from the Iroquois word for “willpower,” Orenda” finds strength in struggle and promotes dialogue among multi-generational American communities.
One Orenda artist who is anticipating a forthcoming show is Inas Al-soqi, a storyteller that uses vintage materials to assemble collages with both humor and sensibility. Deeply inspired by her world travels, Inas Al-soqi is well-educated in the practices of painting, drawing, printmaking, collage work, and art history. Her art—which walks the line between folk and fine—graces museums and private collections throughout several countries: Romania, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Finland, Morocco, Qatar, and The United States.
“Ameles Potamos” is a name derived from the Latin term for “Water of Lethe” which means forgetfulness and comments on human’s tendencies to repeat history over and over again. In these socio-political works, Al-soqi comments on everything from healthcare, to government misinformation, and the impacts the pandemic. The show opens on March 26, 2021.
Inas Al-soqi recently discussed her art via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your love for art and why do you gravitate towards your specific medium?
Inas Al-soqi (IA): I’m a painter and printmaker, I use the skills from those practices in my collage compositions. My love is for storytelling and color.
MM: Many of your images seem very specific so do you find them all by chance or do you intentionally search for and print out particular imagery?
IA: The images are sourced from vintage books, auction catalogs, pamphlets, children’s books, history books, and the list goes on, it’s a continuous search but never computer searched or printed.
MM: Typically, how long does a piece take to create?
IA: Art takes time and sometimes it can take years for a piece to be completely finalized
MM: What was life like for you growing up and how did your childhood foster your creativity?
IA: I grew up in a mixed family, time was spent between the wonderful woods, my grandmas’ tailor, my great-grandmothers loom in Brasov-Transilvania (Romania) and Kuwait City, a place where I focused very much on art in my mother’s salon. My mother allowed me to create exhibitions in the house, which I used to hide behind curtails until guests would come, I was always creative, but never thought it could be a career.
MM: Why do you place social and political themes so centrally into your work?
IA: I am an immigrant Romanian-Palestinian; it is innate in my nature to have a critical conversation with society and politics.
MM: What are some of the most interesting or unusual topics that you’ve explored via your art?
IA: Not sure how this question relates to my creative process, but I focus on violence against women very much and in each country/culture that I explore, I try to pay attention to those sensitive conversations.
MM: Of all the pieces you’ve done, have you any special favorites?
IA: There are a few that I adore more than others, I have a series called Tea Time, they are empowering colorful stories about women chatting about nothing.
MM: How did you break into the art industry and get your art showcased in museums, galleries, and private collections worldwide?
IA: I started making art when I could hold a pencil, so it’s just determination and going to an incredible school like Museum School at Tufts University.
MM: How did you become involved with Orenda Artworks and how have they helped you establish yourself further, especially here in New York?
IA: I met Elaine Chao in the winter of 2019, she came to my studio and we spoke for a long time about everything, she is a visionary because of her willingness to show-up, and we are working on figuring out future projects and collaboration with other Orenda Artists.
MM: What are you most excited about regarding your forthcoming exhibition?
IA: Showing the pieces as a collective conversation is so fantastic. I’m looking forward to conversations and questions.
MM: What do you hope viewers take away from or remember about your work?
IA: The beauty of being aware and staying conscious even in the most difficult of times, questioning what you see and hear is fundamental to human existence
MM: What other projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to mention?
IA: I’m hopefully going to some residencies in the Netherlands and Romania, those are my favorite lands to create art and meet other creatives.
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