“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
Now I don’t know Eleanor, but I like the way she thinks. Art has always been a subjective topic with no set definition. Sure, the Oxford would argue that art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty of emotional power,” but honestly, I’m not sure I agree. Is that really what defines art? We asked a group of very different personalities to explain what art is to them, and well – you’ll see. Welcome to Ekaruna’s Art & Design issue, where we celebrate the country’s unparalleled creativity and ongoing ability to inspire.
We sat down to chat with Marie Muracciole, the Director of Beirut Art Centre, about the contemporary exhibition space and what is in store over the coming months. Whilst we were there, we were lucky enough to have a few minutes with the renowned dancer and choreographer, Xavier Le Roy. Have a read over on page 22.
If you haven’t heard of Hass Idriss, we’re about to change that. I met with the very talented, somewhat mischievous, fashion designer at his studio in Beirut to talk all things fashion, take a look over on page 46.
As you might have noticed, we have a bit of thing for architecture here at Ekaruna. Living in Lebanon, we sometimes overlook the more traditional buildings and their beautiful attention to detail in favour of newer, more modern ones. Taha Al-Hiti is an architect who wants to give Islamic architecture a real definition – we listen to his story over on page 62 .
That’s about it from me. After all, this is the Art & Design issue; so I’ll let the work of the very talented people you’re about to meet do the talking for me, shall I?