Art is immortal. Us as humans are mere tools that produce beautiful pieces. We are the mediums; we are the material. We are not the creators as we try to fool ourselves to be. We get it from nature, then architecture, and then other art.

Next Friday, June 24th,  Saloua Raouda Choucair celebrates her 100th anniversary on Earth and her uncountable one in the hearts and minds of art enthusiasts. As is the case of all artists, we get to know of their name and artwork before knowing them personally. Maybe we never get to know them, it is through their art we get to see the real them anyway.

I will not write about Saloua’s life, when or where she was born, who she married or how many children she has. Nor will I list her influences, her studies or whereabouts. I can only say that she was definitely avant-garde in how she viewed her art, and probably in how she viewed life. Her process seemed almost effortless and I can imagine it flowing for hours, in silence. I can imagine Saloua playing around with her tools in her studio, trying out different options, stopping and then starting over, from scratch. Each time creating something even more beautiful and louder than the time before.

Her art seems to belong to a world only she knows of. Though she decided to share glimpses of it with us; it will forever be with her. We can give it all the names, labels, attributes that we want, but no word can ever express its magnitude. It’s a shame that we only get to see them now, they’ve gotten their international recognition quite late. Alas, so did Van Gogh. This is how life goes, and we’ve got to love it; as much as Saloua did.

And though this might sound a bit poetic, her name, Saloua, which is arabic for consolation, is exactly what her art is. One feels a bit of home or comfort while in the presence of her art. For a person to be able to produce and create as much as she did, the things that she did, are certainly brilliant that they leave us speechless. We can only stare at the piece long enough and let it tell us hidden stories, inspire us to create our own, and give us a new vision.

We can only admire that world that she created from here, the ground, but only she has gone there. We can only imagine it, but it’s only she who has seen it. It’s there, in the back of her mind. It probably comes back to her in her dreams, in her mind’s wanderings. And even after she leaves this earth, it will stay with her. Because she is Saloua. And oh what places Saloua has been…

On Friday the 24th, Sursock Museum will be holding a celebration for Saloua’s 100th birthday celebration, check the event on the following link:


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