Batoul Ballout

Class of 2022

Instagram: @8allout

Originally from Beirut Lebanon, Batoul Ballout moved to the United States in 2014. Growing up in an unstable country and immigrating to the US triggered her work to revolve around belonging, identity, trauma, and resistance. Ballout explores what it means to be Muslim, female, and an immigrant in an alienating world. Through her work, she reflects on life experiences using them as a vehicle for storytelling. Ballout Graduated from Albion College with a BA in 2019 and is currently an MFA candidate at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

I use self-portraiture as a vehicle for storytelling to depict what it looks like to embody the racist’s nightmare. My paintings illustrate my complex, personal reality caught between past trauma and present existence as a Muslim female immigrant in the US. Through blending, layering, and creating textures with oil paints, I bring complexities to the surface of the canvas. My paintings convey multiple levels of reality modeled with transparency, ambiguity, and organicness. My lived experiences and subconscious are translated into my paintings as an unidentified or dream-like space. I present the washy and ghost-like elements of my paintings through fragile, delicate, and feminine qualities. In contrast, the permanence of oil paint resolves my fear of never finding a permanent place to call home, especially when home seems like a constant state of in-betweenness.