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Jude Abu Zaineh

The Artist

Jude Abu Zaineh is a Palestinian-Canadian interdisciplinary artist and cultural worker. Her practice employs art, food, and technology to investigate meanings of culture, displacement, diaspora, and belonging. She examines ideals of home and community while working to develop aesthetics rooted in her childhood and upbringing in the Middle East.

Abu Zaineh is the recipient of the 2020 William and Meredith Saunderson Prizes for Emerging Artists, and was one of the first selected artists to participate in a collaborative residency with the Ontario Science Centre and MOCA Toronto (Canada). She has presented her work at a number of cultural institutions including Cultivamos Cultura, São Luis, Portugal; Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia, Lisbon, Portugal; Centro de Cultura Digital, Mexico City, Mexico; SVA, NYC, USA; Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco, USA; Forest City Gallery, London, Canada; Art Windsor-Essex, Canada; and Centre Culturel Canadien, Paris, France. Forthcoming works showing at Museum London x Media City Film Festival, London, Canada; Artcite, Windsor, Canada; City of Windsor x DWBIA, Windsor, Canada; and Museum of Glass, Washington, USA.

Abu Zaineh received an MFA from the University of Windsor (Canada) and is currently a PhD Candidate in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY, USA) as a RPI HASS Fellow and SSHRC Doctoral Fellow.

She maintains an active studio practice between upstate New York, USA and Windsor-Essex, Canada.

The Works

Zatoun (Olive Branch) is a significant nod to Abu Zaineh’s heritage and her beloved Palestinian lands, which are known for their fruitful olive groves and harvests.

As the olive branch is universally recognized as a gesture of generosity, Zatoun acknowledges the neighbourly traits of Canadians and Windsorites, and is a reminder to continue sharing a generous spirit. Further, it is an attempt at greening the surrounding Brutalist architecture, introducing nature back into the harder, concrete surroundings of the core. “Hidden” between the ceiling rafters as a moment of surprise, the green glow of the piece is intended to draw people in, capturing their attention and keeping them as they get closer.

The use of neon is important to Abu Zaineh as a “mode of communicating,” particularly as the work is being used as a form of public discourse. Her other neon works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Centre Culturel Canadien, Paris, France, and her solo exhibition at Art Windsor-Essex, Canada.

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