By Olivia Melkonian
Following the Beirut explosion on August 4, Chedid retrieved her surviving paintings in her apartment on Armenia Street while architect and commissioner Sari Koussouf repaired The Slow; the stars aligned for the debut of The Lavender Edition, a painted series created by Chedid through impressing lavender stems on off-white paper using Indian ink. During a time of excess acceleration, Chedid aims to preserve the sedate state of the stems in a revised perception of nature.
Last year, Chedid launched her first solo exhibition which focused on the transformation of the physical form of the male body into image. Using oil on kraft paper, the series was suggestive – a theme that arrives at each of Chedid’s collections, in which she extends implication, but never defines. Her first exhibition favored suggestion over accurate depiction of the body – an abstract approach the artist tends to revisit through her work.
Reflecting a sedate state, The Lavender Edition was a project that allowed the artist to step back from her usual involvements of trauma in her work; Chedid explored how she could share her depictions and impressions of nature. The collection of ten paintings demonstrate an interesting ideal of nature: one in solitude, raw and stripped-back. Each painting is individually inspiring, suggestive of all one needs.
An encouragement of self and being, paired with a sense of uniqueness and appreciation for each one. Using the lavender stem as a tool in preserving its own form is a beautiful interpretation of nature and its self-renewing abilities.
The Slow, located on the corner of Khalil Badawi Street and Asfahan Street in Beirut will host the exhibition. Founded by Frama, commissioned by (and closely created with) architect Sari Koussouf, The Slow is a beautiful concept space that has developed site-specific design solutions to the multidisciplinary venue.
Through sur-mesure scenography, each aspect of the space is distinct while maintaining the whole design, allowing a range of motivated visitors to come alone, or in company. The core values of the venue align perfectly with the intentions of the artist, celebrating being the same and different simultaneously. Together with Chedid, the venue is home to the special painting exhibition displaying The Lavender Edition now.