Ola Zaitoun

Necrosis, 2018
Paper, ball point pen, oil color, Tippex

"Necrosis" is a form of cell injury which results in the premature death of cells in living tissue by autolysis. This project is derived from Ola’s daily life in her village, in a society that may be slowly undergoing a transition from a patriarchal society to one that has greater equality between men and women, but where nevertheless women are still forced to "become women": wives, sexual objects, mothers and housewives. The artist uses painting in multiple ways to create her artistic language. Her painting practice is not systematic; sometimes it depends on instincts, and at other times relies on research. She works on paper with oil paint as well as ballpoint pen, a medium she has an intimate daily connection with. She applies a layer of golden oil colour over the women’s faces to deform the perfect image. Unlike ink, which allows light to pass through it, the golden masks reflect light so that the audience sees their own reflection inside the paintings.

The gold mask is marketed as a cosmetic product that revitalizes the skin. In previous cultures it was linked to death. Women appear to be alive but they look like the dead, who do not live as they wish; their dreams and desires have been killed.


Ola Zaitoun lives and works in Cana of Galilee. She received her BA in psychology and women studies in 2012 and an MFA in 2017 from Haifa University. She has participated in several exhibitions: The Gift Exhibition at Al Ma’mal Foundation, Jerusalem, (2015); Artnatura at Limner Gallery in New York; Beautiful View Art Fair in Haifa (2016); and Pyramid Platform at Pyramid Contemporary Art Center in Haifa (2018.(

Third Award: Ola Zaitoun.

© Photo: Courtesy of A.M. Qattan Foundation

Young Artist of the Year Award 2018

A.M. Qattan Foundation's program to support Palestinian artists. Exhibition of the awardees and shortlisted artists. 6 Nov. - 27 Dec. 2018, AMQF Cultural Centre, Ramallah.

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