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Art Circle Gallery cordially invites you to the opening of its new Sub-Space with the exhibition by Laudi Abillama entitled "The Great Depression".

“The Great Depression” by Laudi Abillama is the continuation of an ongoing project intended to reflect the thoughts and in some cases, frustrations of people from the Middle East and beyond. In particular, ‘The Great Depression’ addresses freedom of expression in the Arab world. After living for a few years in Lebanon, Abillama notices the complexity of our thoughts/actions contradictory attitude. Having social, psychological, political and sectarian ideas in mind, we (people from this part of the world) tend to rather say what the other expects to hear than speak what we necessarily think. In this new artistic project, the artist gives her subjects the right to make each, a statement of his own - any statement in mind - at the particular moment of the photo shoot. The artworks represents a number of people from various social and cultural backgrounds that the artist encountered throughout her travels as well as during her time spent approaching the public on the streets of Beirut.

Using white boards similar to the ones that were used during The Great Depression in the United States of America throughout the 1920s and 30s, Laudi Abillama asked her subjects to write on them their feelings and opinions. The final body of work is limited edition silkscreen prints of her photographs, over a background of fine line drawings depicting daily human panoramas. The large human-like works overwhelm you by their straightforward statements, and as you try to read the sayings, you notice the delicately scribbled scenes that the artist has rendered in the back. The work looks simple, however it is a complex combination of photography, drawing, painting and finally silkscreen printing.

Born in 1986 in Surrey, England, Laudi Abilama spent most of her life in the United Kingdom where she received her BA in Arts and Media from the University College of Creative Arts. At the age of 20 she chose to move back to Lebanon, her home country, to be part of the rise of contemporary art in the region. She chooses to paint predominantly people; representing personalities that have at some point influenced or touched her. She exhibits in Beirut, London and Dubai, and her work is acquired internationally. She has participated in many collective shows, namely the Sursock Museum’s Salon d’Automne and at Sotheby’s as part of this year’s ‘Shubbak’ Festival in London.


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