Palestinian-American artist Jordan Nassar's hand embroidered tapestries address an intersecting field of language, ethnicity and the embedded notions of heritage and homeland. Contemporizing an ancient craft and tapping into its storytelling heritage to examine conflicting issues of identity and cultural participation using geometric patterning present in traditional Palestinian hand embroidery. It is important to note that in the encoding of Nassar's symbolism is a linguistic and geopolitical field of play characterized by both conflict and unspoken harmony.
The histories of generations of Palestinians have been imbued into the handcraft of embroidery often featured upon traditional women’s dresses— the symbols worked upon the garb trace the familial records of transience and movement. The traditional embroidery is a skill that the artist has dedicated his time to learning in an attempt to connect with his heritage. As a descendant of the Palestinian diaspora, the landscapes Nassar works upon the canvases are meditations on alienation and displacement.
The landscapes are at once the product of an inherited nostalgia, a desire to capture Nassar’s ancestors’ stories of an idyllic Palestine, and a projection of a utopian future where the conflicts are a distant memory. Each embroidery is an elegy for a Palestine, delicate and wondrous in its kaleidoscopic topography.