After some collective exhibitions (AGBU/ESCWA/DT Beirut Art Festival/Aley summer festival), Lara Khatchikian decided to play it solo. ‘Soulful of light’, her first solo exhibition, opens at l’Osteria (Mar Mikhail) on Tuesday, January 24th, at 6 p.m. Why l’Osteria and not an art gallery? To her, l’Osteria is “where one feels at home among wonderful friends and people… I wanted my first step to be singular.”
Lara Khatchikian has always immersed herself in art. In elementary school, she participated in art and drama classes. However, she remembers, “My love for drawing and painting truly grew during high school. Art classes are a crucial part of the curriculum in Armenian schools, and Armenian culture in general as we all know. A major stepping stone that got me really passionate about art was having famous painter and graphic designer, Maral Panossian, as my art teacher. Her unconventional ways and highly interesting approach to teaching made art classes a blessing to look forward to. I would like to
mention here another class that later influenced my later studies: an introductory psychology class, where I discovered another passion, and set my mind to pursue a degree in psychology”. After high school, Katchikian also participated in an art group founded by her teacher Maral Panossian.
This very sensitive artist uses any art medium she can find to express her feelings and thoughts: ” Since I was a rather quiet child and a bit of a sensitive introvert, I unconsciously found art the best medium through which I would express myself.” She has recently stopped drawing and painting to dedicate herself to photography and writing (she is active in playwriting and theater set design).
‘Soulful of Light’ focuses, according to Katchikian, on “souls who have suffered quite a lot in their lives, yet are warriors of light… they stand tall and refuse to turn their lights off. They are souls in light… It is also a reflection of my own journey through life”. Katchikian draws her inspiration from natural and genuine people’s lives and stories, in particular older people who “carry an inner child, a certain innocence, next
to the immense wisdom and experience reflected in their eyes.”
Katchikian discovered photography after university, when she was hired as a reporter and editor for an English magazine. She soon bought her first camera – a Nikon Nikkormat from the sixties – and started experimenting with it. She favors black and white, for its expressiveness and the way it tells a soulful story, and shuns forced poses. She seeks to tell stories of the human psyche and would like the “viewer to connect and feel with the characters and topics and analyze themselves.” An invitation to discover it all by yourself…