Libyan artist explores emotions triggered by quarantine & war
Jamila Rizgalla is a Libyan self-taught artist who works in pastel to achieve quick, emotive compositions. Her work is spontaneous and done in any location, a result of both her personal style as well as necessity during times of lockdown in Libya. In this period of isolation, her work expresses stages of sadness, loss, endurance, and hope which, while intimate emotions, are also experiences shared globally. The Big Leaving memorializes all of those who have died during the pandemic and were not afforded the opportunity to say goodbye. Torn between the desire to leave the house and the danger of the pandemic, the artist’s work Worry visually manifests the parallel desires to cradle worry and listen to reason.
Rizgalla has participated in several exhibitions in Libya and Malta, recently Take us on your journey through quarantine at Art House, Libya (2020) and Wings of my Soul at Manoel Theatre, Malta (2008). Her work is featured in collections internationally, including Tempra Museum for Contemporary Art, Malta; Museo Tempra della Biennale de Malta, Italy; Museo della Grafica, Italy; and Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Libya. In addition to her visual arts practice, Rizgalla is a veterinarian by education and is currently a lecturer in the Department of Aquaculture at the University of Tripoli.
Visit the Middle East Institute (MEI) website to discover her artwork and support her.