JUDE ABU ZAINEH: SHE BENDS
“There’s an undeniable attractive quality to the glow of neon that can’t be replicated through other mediums,” Jude said. “I love the idea of being able to sculpt with light as an extension of the glass I’m working with—I’m mesmerized by how three-dimensional neon is in all of my encounters. That never gets old for me.”
HOW IT STARTED
Jude Abu Zaineh is a Palestinian-Canadian artist and brings a unique perspective to her art with her upbringing being in the Middle East. She loves to travel, cook and occasionally be a couch potato (her words not ours). She received an MFA from the University of Windsor (Canada) and is currently pursuing her PhD in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York as a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow.
Jude’s neon journey began in 2019, in Meryl Pataky’s studio.
“Meryl’s a wealth of knowledge, not only for me, but for others in the neon community and beyond,” Jude said. “She Bends is a vital resource for underrepresented and marginalized artists working in neon. It’s a great community to learn, share knowledge, network, and exchange support in. I’ve been fortunate to meet and learn from so many incredible artists through this network.”
“I focus on themes of diaspora, culture, and identity politics in my work,” Jude said. “I’m constantly exploring the nuances of language, translation—the failures of translation—because of my interdisciplinary approach, sometimes that manifests in text (Arabic/English), and sometimes it’s more illustrative depending on the medium and topic at hand.”
Jude’s art is featured below— Bit-hoon (this too shall pass//dreaming of Jaffa)|(بتهون (حلم بيافا is currently being exhibited at her solo show at Art Windsor Essex using argon coated glass tubes, electrodes, transformer, and digital print.
“An ode to hope and perseverance, Bit-hoon (this too shall pass//dreaming of Jaffa)|(بتهون (حلم بيافا is a neon and printed work that calls for tenacity to work through challenging times while living in exile. In Arabic, بِتهون (pronounced: bit-hoon) is a meaningful word roughly translates to: this too shall pass; everything will be alright; or, have patience. Similarly, the delicate practice of bending glass requires calmness and determination. The gentle glow of the neon illuminates a printed image of Jaffa, a site imbued with memories associated with the lineage of the artist’s mother. This site can only be reached through archives or dreams.” – Text by Noor Alé
When it comes to buying her supplies, she gets her glass from Abitech.
“I love the range of coloured glass supplied by Abitech—it gives me a wide variety of options to bring my artistic vision to life.”
Jude advises to future generations of neon to play, fail and explore—it’s all part of the process.
Support Jude by following her on Instagram at @judeaz_, or visiting her website judeaz.com
Show support by visiting her current exhibitions at the The Art of Living at Centre Culturel Canadian, Paris through Oct 21, 2022. Her solo exhibit just ended In the Presence of Absence at Art Windsor-Essex in Canada.