Oil, Pastel, & Colored Pencil on Canvas
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Originally from Beirut, Lebanon, Batoul Ballout moved to the United States in 2014. Growing up in a country of constant turmoil grounded her work in themes of belonging, trauma, identity, and resistance. Ballout’s studio practice uses painting, drawing, and installation to explore what it means to be Muslim, female, a war victim, and an immigrant in an alienating world. In her work, she challenges and explores where lived experience intersects with global politics, as this broader structure has had such a direct impact on her personal reality. These themes take physical shape in the studio through art making as a mode of resistance. Ballout activates the human presence in her work to examine bridging past, present, and future belonging. Ballout explores the poetic potentialities and mutual existence of oil paint, construction materials, personal clothing items, luggage, etc., evoking embedded patterns of trauma in the conscious and subconscious mind. Her work alludes to memories, perception, and lingering feelings along with questioning where and when, if ever, the tether of home can be reattached.