Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

The Palestine Hotel, Nablus

Sitting in the University Library at Cambridge, reading the sculptor Eric Gill’s diaries of his trip to Palestine in 1934 (he had been commissioned by the architect Austen St. Barbe … Continue reading

April 21, 2017 · Leave a comment

Farewell to a Painting

It was a genuine wrench to walk away from True Belief Belongs to the Realm of Real Knowledge, a huge, sublime wall-painting by Idris Khan. The Whitworth Gallery exhibition of … Continue reading

March 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

Review: The Freedom Theatre perform ‘The Siege’

Electronic Intifada, 2 June 2015 The setting for The Siege is the interior of the church itself, skilfully evoked with a specially-constructed set in which smoke, ornate hanging lamps, tiled … Continue reading

June 22, 2015 · 2 Comments

New review: ‘Garden State’ at the Mosaic Rooms

Electronic Intifada, 28 May 2015 But the images also have a larger narrative; the Carmel forest — insofar as any landscape in an inhabited region is “natural” — is not … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

New review: ‘Traces & Revelations’ at Durham’s Oriental Museum

Electronic Intifada, 10th April 2014 But in hosting Traces and Revelations, a viscerally exciting new show of paintings by Hazem Harb and Mohammed Joha, the Oriental Museum at the University … Continue reading

April 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

New review: ‘In the City’ at London’s P21 Gallery

Electronic Intifada, 21st October 2013 [T]he works shown in In the City stress the interaction between cultures and between tradition and modernity. They assert that Middle Eastern and North African … Continue reading

October 21, 2013 · Leave a comment

New article: Palestinian artist John Halaka interviewed

Electronic Intifada, 30th August 2013 “I’ve faced quite a few problems, resistance to my work. In the US, if an artist makes work that addresses the Palestinian situation — and … Continue reading

August 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

New article: Hani Zurob artist biography reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 17th June 2013 Hani was… born and raised in the Rafah refugee camp. His first public art consisted of the graffiti and political posters of the first intifada, … Continue reading

June 17, 2013 · Leave a comment

UK Border Agency vs art/sanity (AGAIN)… and an intemperate rant against UKIP

Facebook is bad for my blood pressure. Usually because of its commercialised intrusive horribleness (although AdBlock still goes a long way…), but also because of information like this, from yesterday: … Continue reading

May 4, 2013 · 8 Comments

New article: London’s P21 gallery and the ‘Refractions’ show

Electronic Intifada, 5th February 2013 Even more shocking, perhaps, is [Laila Shawa‘s] video work “Gaza Fashion Week,” which shows a woman clad in a jilbab (a loose-fit coat) and headscarf … Continue reading

February 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

Haifa’s ‘path of poetry’

This is the second (possibly last, not sure yet) post expanding on some of the points from Khaled Furani’s Silencing the Sea which I couldn’t shoehorn into the proper review … Continue reading

January 21, 2013 · Leave a comment

Seeing the Alhambra

The Alhambra (al-Qasr al-Hamra) in Granada is one of the most stunning buildings in the world. Its late-Islamic Andalucian decorations are breathtaking in their intricacy and delicacy, and the newly-renovated … Continue reading

January 10, 2013 · 1 Comment

New article: ‘Despite’ Palestinian art exhibition reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 2nd January 2013 Despite has been an important exhibition for many reasons. It is probably one of the largest collections of art from Gaza ever shown, at least … Continue reading

January 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

‘Despite’ at Richmix, Bethnal Green

Merry Christmas, one and all. For anyone who, like me, is stuck in London over the festive period (and the weather outside is about the least festive thing I’ve ever … Continue reading

December 25, 2012 · Leave a comment