Artists shaping the future of Jordan
Photos & Text by Noor Nasser
This month, we broaden our horizons with traveller Nawal Hmoud, an artist making her mark in Jordan.
Nawal Hmoud has lived a life full of travelling and experiencing a range of different cultures. From Rome to Brussels to Cairo, Hmoud absorbed the aroma of several countries before settling down in Jordan. Throughout the years, she created art.
“I was very lucky to have lived in such beautiful countries,” Hmoud says, explaining the origin of the beautiful scenery in her paintings. “I’ve always
loved drawing. My old notebooks are filled with doodles,” she recalls with a smile on her face.
The serene artist began painting impressionistically with oil colours, not noticing at first the extent to which her work reflected Impressionistic masters like Claude Monet. Several years into her practice, she realised how serious her love for the arts was and decided to study it at night school in Brussels. She created time for her art, believing that, “when you love something, you find a balance”. So many women, she says, have jobs and several other obligations, moving from one thing to another. No life is about sitting down and doing nothing.
This insightful artist’s diverse cultural background is definitely reflected in her work. Hmoud’s style has evolved over the years, sometimes venturing away from Impressionism but always carrying elements from around the world. She painted trees and oceans, flowers and fields, horses and houses, mosques and alleys. But what is most interesting is how her style changed throughout the course of painting a certain subject for years. Her classical horses painted in motion, for example, became expressionistic, highlighted by spontaneous strokes of colour and exaggerated movement. She never wanted to be categorised into one stylistic category. This is visible in Hmoud’s most recent artwork, where she was able to venture into Expressionism while still maintaining the element of nature.
The moher of three believes that the arts, in all their forms, need to be more recognised and supported in Jordan, especially by the Ministry of Education. “Take your students to visit galleries in order to
raise awareness about the importance of art,” she says to teachers. To parents, she says, “Buy your children art materials and divert their attention to the beautiful nature around them to build awareness at a young age.”
The passionate artist stresses how the arts encourage self-expression, especially when channeled into a painting of the nature surrounding us. “Those who love nature will never be addicts because nature can cure sadness,” she concludes.