Naima Morelli

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If you have any degree of familiarity with the history of politics and royalty in Burma, you will definitely know June Yadana as the daughter of the princess Ma Lat – the direct descendent of the last King of Burma – who later became the wife of the dictator Ne Win.

What is less known is June’s turbulent life across Europe and Asia, where she traversed the most significant moments at the turn of the twentieth century, always animated by a relentless spirit.

I have written about her for Plural Art Mag.

Here is the link to the piece

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For months, perhaps already in October, I felt an incredible urge to look back and take stock of the entire year, to put the word end to an unfolding of events, full of beauty of pain in equal measure, and start again. But as the buds of a new life in Rome were slowly appearing, I hesitated. There was always something else to do.

One night around mid-December I felt I could wait no longer to be back in my hometown Sorrento for the holidays to put pen to paper. I had to do it right then, that Sunday night in Rome. I had just opened up my computer, when two friends called for an evening tea. To hell with it! I choose to go, choose the present life who was asking me to join in.

And now that I’m in Sorrento for the holidays, in the intersection of days where time seems to stand still, I felt some reticence to look back. I felt that since that evening tea, I have been on the other side, and looking past my shoulder at a momentous time was something blocking the appreciation of what’s right in front of me. But as I started writing, and preparing my parallel post with pictures on Gioco di Donne, I feel have digested and released the old stories, and be appreciative of where they have led me.

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Desk

The question each one of us who loves art, and perhaps works in the art field must ask oneself is: with much uncertainty still looming in the upcoming year, how do artists, curators, art writers, and art appreciators keep themselves in the loop, not only growing their artistic sensitivity, but also becoming a vehicle for change towards a better society?

Global Comment has published my piece where I detail some strategies and a framework to re-articulate our approach to the art world in 2022 with renewed energy.

Here is the link to the piece

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Singapore-based webmagazine Plural has just published my interview with Burmese painter Richie Nath, also known as Richie Htet.

In the colourfully alluring world of the artist presents us with archetypes fit for our times. His acrylics show us powerful women exuding that hard, action-focused yang energy and male characters not afraid of melting into a softer, more compassionate yin expression.  

Here is the link to the interview

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Lebanese artist Etel Adnan in her home and studio, Paris. Photo: Stefan Ruiz

Sometimes you get the chance to delve deeper into the work of great artists only when they pass away and images of their art starts popping up here and there. This was the case for me with the ouvre of Lebanese artist Etel Adnan. I encountered her work upon her passing, and was mesmerized by it.

I quickly learned she had a life like no others, and at this point I couldn’t help myself writing about it. And I did, for Middle East Monitor. It goes without saying, when you write about art which deeply resonates with you, it’s really a blessing. The pen is aligned with the heart.

Here is the link to the piece

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Khaled Hourani

The webmagazine Al-Monitor has just published my piece on Palestinian gallery Zawyeh founded in 2013 in Ramallah, which recently relocated to Dubai.

Here is the link to the piece

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In the show “I am Libya”, painter Shefa Salem presents outstanding canvases, demonstrating that the public is eager to learn about the ancient history of Libya

What does it mean to be Libyan? How to reconstruct a sense of belonging for the country and its people, starting from the deepest roots of Libyan culture, while preserving diversity?

These are the questions that artist, Shefa Salem, is grappling with for her first solo show I am Libya, which took place a few weeks ago in the Barah Arts and Culture Centre in Benghazi and will travel to Tripoli’s old city at the beginning of December.

I have interviewed the artist for Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the interview

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The Singaporean art magazine Plural has just published my latest piece called “Is there a silver lining to the lack of tourism for the Balinese art scene?”

Here I’m interviewing the directors of three different art spaces, Cush Cush Gallery, Kayu, Ketemu and V-Room, to garner their experience with the pandemic shifts in the art scene, and how this is affecting artists and art spaces alike.

Here is the link to the article

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My fifth piece for Middle East Eye is about a Lebanese comic book which tells forgotten stories of country’s feminist struggle. Called ‘Where to, Marie?’, this comic book distils a century of overlooked feminist battles through the stories of five fictional characters. I have interviewed the authors.

Here is the link to the piece

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Ad-Diriyah Biennale in Saudi Arabia

Middle East Monitor has just published an opinion piece of mine about a new biennale coming up in Saudi Arabia, the Ad-Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale. I question the way and modalities Biennales need to exist in this post-pandemic world.

Here is the link to the article

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Palestinian artist Hazem Harb [Hazem Harb]

“Palestinian artist Hazem Harb doesn’t try to define the idea of Palestine in his work. “For me, Palestine just is,” he tells me. “I’m interested in its history and nationalism, but I don’t dwell on them by making straightforward political art. In my work, I’m trying to represent the hidden narratives of Palestine and leave room for individual memories and personal stories to come through.” “

The webmagazine Middle east Monitor has just published my interview with Palestinian artist Hazem Harb.

Here is the link to the interview

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The show Rintagan (Resistance) at Richard Koh Fine Art presents works that don’t come from the mind, but rather from a physical involvement with painting materials. They were first inspired by the virtual realm: “I took pictures from Instagram, and then cropped some details,” explains Haffendi. “So it’s going from the virtual, to the IRL, then – being this an online show – to the virtual again.”

My interview with Malaysian artist Haffendi Anuar has been published on Plural Art Mag.

Here is the link to the interview

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