Over the course of her eight-week residency at An Effort Art, Malak created more than 100 pieces in direct response to the tragic events unfolding in Gaza. In a departure from her previous vibrant and colourful style, this exhibition reveals a raw and uncompromising emotional reaction.

There will be a Private View of Malak’s work on Fri 1 Mar from 6-8 pm.

Malak Mattar (b. 1999) began painting at the age of 13. She started showing and selling her work online and, three years later, remarkably had a sell-out solo exhibition at the Palestine Museum in Bristol, UK. Since then her work has been shown in almost 80 countries.

In 2018, she won the highest scholarship in Gaza – second across her year group in Palestine as a whole – to study abroad, graduating with a BSc in political science from Istanbul Aydin University (2022). Malak is a writer and illustrator with a large international following – her celebrated children’s book Sitti’s Bird: A Gaza Story (2022) is a best-seller pending its third edition in 2024 due to high demand. In October 2021, Malak’s work was the cover for GQ Middle East.

As a Gaza native, who has survived numerous military assaults in the region, the importance of Malak’s work on the contemporary Arab art movement cannot be understated. For many, she is a leading voice of her generation and her work an instantly recognisable symbol.

Produced by Arts Canteen. Supported by Arts Council England, Bagri Foundation & An Effort Art Residency.

Photos by Phoebe Wingrove.


AWAN Festival InstagramArts Canteen Instagram / Malak Mattar Instagram / An Effort Art Residency Instagram

If you have any access requirements, please contact our box office team on 020 7613 7498 or email