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oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 cm

The moon and the plant- two stark contraries have been used as a medium to reimagine and recreate a version of my own for the theme- ‘I Dreamed that I Swallowed the Moon’. The moon is the only celestial body that lives a borrowed life, yet with such humility while withholding its own unique charm. The fairies have worshipped the moon for ages, the moon light has served as a source of hope and calm amidst the ghory night sky and the absence of the moon has always led to nothing but ill omen. On the other hand, a plant is nothing, yet everything at the same time. It begins with nothing but a seed {a dot} and goes on to being a mess of foliage, granting and nurturing life further ahead. 


My artwork is a tapestry of words representing the language of trees. Dancing letters, morphing and fusing to form leaves. My acrylic and oil on canvas work portrays the humble beginning of the leaf, but in their pursuit of growth, soon swallow the moon. However, the moon continues to be their only source of tranquility while the world around them keeps burgeoning and spinning. Just like the moon continues to be the root source of all strength and order for the confused leaves, similarly, I’d encourage that we all swallow and keep safe a moon of our own- a moon that can protect us from the disorder of the universe while we keep growing and blossoming like the leaves. 


Before signing off, I’d like to share a small personal anecdote. I’ve spent a considerable number of years in countries other than my own; I’ve travelled continents to find and search for who I am and where my heart and soul lies. But, what truly kept me grounded all these years was a reminder that my art is the moon that lies swallowed and all nations that I’ve trodden upon are the leaves that keep contributing to my growth. Nothing that I ever do is done without an intention to connect back to my heart through art- no matter where in the world I go. I’d like to leave you with a tiny food for thought- try to find your moon and see, have you been able to swallow it yet!


Lana Khayat was born and brought up in Beirut, Lebanon. She is an undergraduate in Design from the American University of Beirut, and a Masters in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York where she also worked at the Guggenheim Museum. She is currently residing between Spain and Dubai. She has worked with the XVA Gallery (UAE), Hafez Gallery (KSA), Galleria Thema (Spain), and is now preparing for her first Solo show with XVA Gallery, Dubai in December 2022.

Lana comes from a family of Artists. Her great-grandfather, Mohamad Suleiman Khayat contributed to the creation and restoration of Ajami rooms from Syria. His work is showcased at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NYU and the ShangriLa, Hawaï. Her grandfather glorified the same walls of Ajami rooms for decades, whereas his father kept the art from his previous generations alive through his skills of architecture. Belonging to a family of rare artists, their influence was inevitable and runs in Lana’s blood. She followed their footsteps and chose art as her form of expression, just like her forefathers. 

All her life, she has believed that nature has music for those who are willing to lend an ear and as an introvert, she has found herself fluent with nature rather than mankind. That makes her art a free flowing journey of the conversations she has had with the wilderness and trees. During her dialogues with nature, she has realised that some learnings are too deep and personal to be put into words and that inspired her to choose the canvas as her medium of expression. Her art is a mystical representation of her dialogues with nature, each tone and stroke overflowing with meaning beyond human script or language. As Milan Kundera in his book ‘ Immortality’ beautifully suggests , “Things exist in their essence even before they are materially realised and named.” She resonates with the same thought and believes that if we all look around, there are messages that lie beyond human tongue that can only be deciphered in the company of the wild!

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