Dutch artist Marjan Teeuwen walks in her latest project the 'Shaath House' that involves re-assembling the wreckage of a house, that was destroyed during by an Israeli attack in the 2014, and turning it into an artistic structure/AFP
Dutch artist Marjan Teeuwen walks in her latest project the 'Shaath House' that involves re-assembling the wreckage of a house, that was destroyed during by an Israeli attack in the 2014, and turning it into an artistic structure/AFP

Artist brings beauty to war-damaged Gaza home

lifestyle December 17, 2016 11:59

By Agence France-Presse

KHAN YUNIS, Palestinian Territories- Dutch artist Marjan Teeuwen walks past a column formed from rubble to show off her latest creation, a barren house in the Gaza Strip where doorless rooms face into bleak, empty space.



The 'Shaath House' in Khan Yunis in the south of the Palestinian territory was largely destroyed by an Israeli attack in the 2014 Gaza war but Teeuwen, 52, specialises in turning unwanted places into works of art.

Working with Palestinian engineers and artists and the Palestinian Red Crescent, she is "transforming a demolished house into a beautiful sculpture" which will serve briefly as a museum.

There is one major difference however between the Gaza house and her previous works, in the Netherlands, Russia and South Africa.

Teeuwen usually works in buildings that are due to be destroyed in a few months, turning them into temporary exhibits in what she describes as juxtaposition of the opposing forces of construction and destruction.

"(But) for the first time I started in a building which was destroyed already, which was destroyed by war," she told AFP.

Perhaps Teeuwen's most famous work in the Netherlands saw her transform four empty houses due for demolition into a minimalist space with tilted floors and caved-in walls.

But in Gaza, they had to start by rebuilding one of the walls destroyed during the war.

The team closed it with rows of bricks and breeze blocks stacked on top of each other but without cement, which is sparse in Gaza, leaving space for light to come through.

Inside the exhibition, which took Teeuwen three months, she has used rubble and chips of tiles from the war to construct a column which snakes upwards to the ceiling.

Floors have been twisted upwards or collapsed inwards, while some interior walls were removed completely. Others fall diagonally or are deliberately disjointed to create the feeling that "everything is on edge," a written guide to the work said.