With my German exchange year coming up, I’ve been experiencing a combination of overwhelming emotions linked to the concept of home and belonging to a fixed geographical place, characterised by the relationships I hold with its residents. As I spent the past month exploring independent foreign and local art, roaming galleries and connecting with the holders of artistic interest, there was a pattern I noticed in the two parties of art creators and art spectators. The pattern led to one shared theme that these two groups always seem to address and that is the idea of longing. The feeling of always waiting on either the unknown or a specified goal to happen, the desire of change that one demands from the power of the universe and its forces; I’ve seen a reoccurrence of the latter in several periods of time.

What stirs my mind about longing is not just the fact that it’s a universal yearning that everyone in the world holds, but the fact that there are countless ways of portraying the intensity of waiting on destiny to fall into its place; for it to happen.

Dina Fawakhiri, Waiting series, 2018 (read Qabbani’s review of Her by Her here)

Longing comes in masses and slivers, contradictory just like the way the human mind works. The way artists transform a rush for reaching a dream into a visible form like a painting or installation is a craft that I have just recently come to comprehend. Some works that showcase this topic include local Jordanian artist Dina Fawakhiri’s series that was exhibited under the title: Waiting. Fawakhiri describes this collection of her digital self-portraits as an explanation of her constantly waiting on something to happen, sometimes not knowing what the subject, and other times the subject being as simple as an appointment.

Another artist that drew my attention was Brett Amory, an American graphic designer based in San Francisco. Amory started a series of paintings in 2001 under the same title of Waiting; his style differs since the project comprises of 15 paintings that show members of society such as elderly pedestrians and economically active businessmen sitting near urban settings and spots like gas stations and grocery shops.

It is deeply admirable that the works of those two creators give distinct approaches on the same topic whilst simultaneously making it relatable to anyone who lays their eyes on them. I think this is where the raw beauty of the inter-crossing of art and emotion shines; one feels like they are a solo act in isolation but are in fact; a one-of-a-kind participant in building a diversified global network that everyone can communicate through without saying much, without alienation, and a recurring flow of harmony.

With a fresh start, 2000 kilometers away from a warm bed and across the seas, my time in Germany is going to be an observational ride on what we all share in common; regardless of origin.

Image courtesy of the original artists.