- Title: Gaza student makes art, not mouth-watering dish, with grape leaves
- Date: 1st September 2019
- Summary: VARIOUS OF HAJ CHECKING PERSONAL INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT ON MOBILE PHONE
- Embargoed: 15th September 2019 14:57
- Keywords: Palestinian artists art in Gaza grape leaves art Palestinians Gaza
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Art,Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA002AUTT93P
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Often used in Palestinian cuisine to make a scrumptious and filling dish, a Gaza-based artist sees something entirely different in grape leaves, using their surface to make art.
Leen al-Haj, 21, uses the dried leaves as the canvas for her paintings.
The psychology student only paints as a hobby during her free time and has been painting on leaves for over a year.
The artwork is her own way to express her love for Palestinian local culture, by using one of the popular leaf as a base for her paintings.
She collects the leaves from her garden and while some are taken to the kitchen to stuff, roll and serve at the dinner table, the larger leaves are kept for her paintings.
After cleaning the leaves, the artist keeps them for days in a book to straighten and dry.
Haj uses acrylic paint and needs about three hours to complete a single painting.
Once completed, the artwork is kept in photo frames to protect it from damage.
When Haj started sharing her work with people, they encouraged her to continue.
"I wanted to be unique with it," she said.
But her unusual canvas does not only offer something different, according to Haj, it is cheaper than other materials.
Haj shares her work on her social media accounts but does not offer it for sale.
She has participated in three local exhibitions and hopes to showcase her art internationally one day.
(Production: Arafat Barbakh, Fadi Shanna, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh, Roleen Tafaji, Rahaf Ruby)
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