Juhaina Habibi Kandalaft


She was born in Jerusalem in 1947, later lived and grew up in Haifa and Nazareth where she now resides; married with four children.

The artist started drawing and painting as a hobby in her childhood. Fourteen years after her marriage, she joined the school of arts at Oranim College (Tivon) where she graduated in 1985. She taught art, sculpture and painting in different schools in Nazareth and the area, and in her spare time she paints in her private studio. She uses oil colors on canvas in different combined techniques and she sculptures using mud.

Her Palestinian origin is clearly expressed in her works depicting the land, trees, and the soil of her country.

The principles she uses are international and does not have any prejudice against any nation; she respects people’s right for freedom and living in peace in their homeland and she truly believes that the Palestinians and Israelis can co-exist in peace and equality without exploiting each other. They can achieve that not by force but by bridging over their national and religious differences.

Her works are juxtaposition and combination of her national heritage that she adores and is proud of and her immediate present. She collects the shapes and colors of the universe, rearranges them and then recreates them in her way.

She uses symbols of the earth and the woman combined with Arabesque patterns in an expressionist abstract form.

She has a number of art exhibitions in Nazareth. She joined exhibitions in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel –Aviv, Nazareth and other Arab villages in the country, as well as exhibitions abroad in Egypt, England and Dubai.

Her painting “Kafa” (enough) was printed in Israel as a post card commemorating the child international day and it was distributed abroad.

Her style is not depicting or copying the scene of the real world but rather using the symbolic instead of the descriptive like music that suggests rather than describes looking for the essence instead of the outer shape.

The artist Juhanina says “I do not copy nature I reproduce it as it exists in my being and in my feelings. I look for the rhythm and harmony of the mental consciousness. Painting to me is an emotional consciousness prior to logical thinking. I start with a simple idea a starting point and continue until I experience the harmony in the creative work. And since creativity comes through experience, the act of painting is an enigma, an indescribable and ambiguous mysterious movement. It is an intrinsic urge that flows from within until it is expressed in a painting.

I was not influenced by one specific artist but rather by a number of them. I have a special interest in Arab artists and I appreciate their works especially modern Egyptian artists.

I am as well influenced by Emil Habibi’s thoughts and writings and by Mahmoud Darwish poetry from which I use some lines in my paintings.

Religion has a part in my life in the form of my belief in the existence of God as a great force that sees and interferes in our lives and inspires us with good things. This Devine force exists within us and gives us the ability to execute our artistic creation.

I do not believe in any differences in the art of man and woman. Real art is a creative art that is neither feminine nor masculine.

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