Saloua Raouda Choucair



The Lebanese artists Saloua Raouda Choucair is one of the main inspirations for our Spring Summer Edition. Her "poem sculptures" draw from Sufi poetry, where stanzas can stand alone as their own poems, or be fit together in different ways to form other poems. It's a beautiful way to think of a piece of clothing, that can stand on its own or be assembled to form a silhouette.


Choucair (1916-2017) is considered as one of the first abstract artists in Lebanon. "Her soul was completely into forms and shapes", says her daughter Hala. Her work includes painting, sculpture, jewelry, lifestyle objects, and escapes all attempts at categorization. Of Druze spiritual heritage, she drew from islamic art, geometric design, poetry and philosophy, which being non-figurative, enabled her to reach the essence of things. Mixing the architectural and the artistic, the organic and the engineered, the materials she used for her sculptures include marble, wood, clay, or stone.

She worked in extreme circumstances, in a political situation wounded by civil war. At her Tate exhibition in 2013, one of her paintings was shown partially destroyed by a bomb that exploded next to her apartment. She was stopped from having a local or let alone international career by the political situation, although having worked and traveled to France early on, where she was acknowledged and exhibited at the time. Living and working in Beyrouth, she kept true to herself, her interests and her artistic path, constantly inspired and motivated to create.