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Ink on Paper, 2020-Ongoing.

"A Donkey is Restrained By His Reigns, A Person By His Tongue"

The inspiration for this series came from a unique book authored by a fellow community member, Mr. Joseph Sutton. Written in the 1980s, it was meant to document the community within one generation of its being moved from Syria to New York. One section highlighted a collection of popular Judaeo-Arabic phrases used in Syria. Now, 100 years after the community was uprooted, these sayings (Al’amthal) have largely faded from collective use and memory.


When she discovered these phrases on her family bookshelf in the early 2000s, she was captivated by their timeless quality and enduring witticism. There is a Mattal, or phrase, for every situation. It’s a rare person who can read through the collection and not find some aspect that rings true for them.


Lenore has revisited the Al’amthal throughout her artistic career and here presents them in their purest form, celebrating them along with the discipline of Arabic calligraphy itself. The phrases have been simplified down to their essence, with nothing to distract from the eternal truths they represent. Used as a vehicle for reconnecting to her own heritage through language and art, recording these phrases anew in her own way gives Lenore the opportunity to ensure that they aren't forgotten altogether. 

These phrases were also used in a series of 22 spray painted murals on the streets of Jerusalem, created during a residency with ArtBnb (see under Street Art). They will be featured in a solo show as part of the Jerusalem Biennale in November 2023.

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