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Gallery Talks: In Conversation With Lynn Osman

Lynn Osman; Icarus Fall 2, 2013
Lynn Osman; Icarus Fall 2, 2013

In our latest Gallery Talk series, we delve into each artist's creative process as well as the underlying themes depicted in their works - displayed at our ongoing group exhibition ‘Interconnected’, in collaboration with Arneli Art Gallery.

Lynn Osman holds a Masters degree in Visual Arts from the Lebanese University and a Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree from the American University of Beirut. Her visual research interests are comparative subculture and underground music production.

Lynn’s visual essays are part of the permanent collection of Marguerite Duras Public Library, Paris and were exhibited at the Tokyo Art Book Fair. One of her projects was awarded the Step Beyond Travel grant by the European Cultural Foundation. 

Employing a selection of mechanical techniques - drawn from procedural and illustrative influences - Osman portrays visual representations inspired by music subcultures and corresponding musical production processes. She explores conceptual juxtapositions of quasi mismatched depictions, challenging and subverting notions of what appeals to the visual in an exploratory transgression.

Through a complex composition of figures, she further comments on sociocultural ideas, reflecting the need to rethink//restage social constructs, stereotypes and notions on gender and identity particularly in the Middle East.

What inspires your style?

Music subculture inspires my style, and musical processes such as cut-up techniques.

What sort of experimentation has led you to your current style as an artist

I experiment with layers of medium in painting, from acrylic paint, to watercolour and oil pastels, with china ink. I also work on collaging images, which inspire the visual representation that I am working on.

Why did you start making art? How did you kickstart your artistic endeavour?

I started making art early as a child and teenager, I did t-shirts, magazines, comics and won prizes at school. After I taught art at school, I pursued my Masters in Painting and Illustration. Teaching art motivated me to kickstart my artistic endeavour.

What ultimate messages do your creative expressions convey?

My creative expressions mainly convey messages about transgression in visual representation and music.


Lynn Osman; Icarus Fall 1, 2013
Lynn Osman; Icarus Fall 1, 2013


If you could change one aspect of society or social issues through your work, what would it be?

I would like to change an aspect of society and social issues in my work, it would be to transgress stereotypes and social constructs, such as identity in general, and gender identity, especially in the Middle East.

Are there any thoughts you wish to share in relation to the theme of interconnectedness? (the impact the global events of the last 3 years have had in your artistic endeavours as a female artist)

These events challenged the various aspects in which interconnectedness is perceived and as a female artist, these global occurrences affected my works, influencing my themes. I prioritised some subjects that I am currently working on, such as environment and identity.

Has technology had any impact on your artistic practice? In what ways has it affected or shaped it?

I am more into manual practice and printmaking, and engage more with mechanical techniques, than technology, in my works.

Are there recurring themes in your work, or any that have emerged as your work has evolved?

The recurring themes in my work are music subcultures and visual representations based on music reinterpretation. I am working on texts for children's books that I want to illustrate. They are about environmental-related issues, to raise awareness among children.

What are you working on now and next?

I am working on texts for children's books that I want to illustrate. They are about environmental-related issues, to raise awareness among children.

INTERCONNECTED - A group exhibition of 18 women artists from across Africa and the Middle East; showcasing 36 works in a variety of mediums and perspectives outlined in paintings, mixed media and digital art. Bordering between the known and the unknown, abstraction and figuration; the selected artists examine the interconnected complexities of human experience detailed through distinct artistic styles and approaches - in personal theory and form.

Visit the exhibition here.


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