Deep Space Arts | Going Adrift with Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah


I first met photographer and arts organizer Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah in 2008 while working at International Arts Artists, where we bonded over photography, art, and politics. She has lived and exhibited her work in Paris, Washington and the Middle-East, in such venues as Studio Gallery, Adah Rose Gallery, Speos Gallery, Baked & Wired, George Mason University, FotoWeekDC and the Gallery at Vivid Solutions. Influenced by her bi-cultural status as a Palestinian-American, her work reflects her constant reproach as to what constitutes home by photographing the places she has lived and the objects within them.I caught up with Laila for an interview last week as she made the final preparations for her solo show, Adrift, at the Gallery at Vivid Solutions. The show opens tonight (1/10/2014) in Anacostia alongside Common Ground, a collaborative exhibition by Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann and Michael B. Platt at Honfleur Gallery.

GB: When and where did Adrift start?

LJ: Adrift started sometime in May 2010 in Morocco where I was visiting my father. The first photograph was taken at about 5:45am on a beautiful day and the trip continued for a week driving around the entire country!

GB: How did your family travels and palestinian heritage influence your use of multiple exposures?

LJ: This body of work has really grown in meaning over the years. When I first began this series I was not fully aware of why I chose to create multiple exposures, but today, they are representative of the changes that have been occurring on the ground in Palestine/Israel and all over the Middle-East. The “Palestine” my grandparents and father were born in, does not exist the way they knew it and even the one I saw a few years ago has already changed.

GB: There is a sense of wonder in your photos that seems to invite the viewer to step into your shoes. Is there a certain emotion or mood you want your audience to experience?

LJ: One of my photography professors in grad. school always told me, once your photograph is out into the world, it belongs to the public. It is no longer up to you how people will perceive it, therefore, I really just hope that people enjoy the photographs, but also reflect on the deeper meaning they represent and find they can relate to it.

GB: Your decision to use gold frames for the photos in Adrift is interesting, especially in the context of migration, freedom of movement, and the arbitrary borders imposed over our lives.. (not a question I suppose, start talking!)

LJ: As a visual person I tend to obsess over strange things, including having to use gold frames for the works. I really wanted to create an ambiance in the gallery space that was inspired by the beauty of the colors and design often found in that part of the world. In the context of migration, freedom of movement and borders, as someone who comes from a place I can’t really go back to live, you have to bring what you can wherever your home is now. I live a very privileged life here in the U.S. and like many children of immigrants, was so fortunate to be raised in a household where stories of where we are from were constant by my grandparents and parents – but no matter what, there will always be this idea of longing for a home and maintaining a connection to it, that is so important. So the ambiance I tried to create, speaks to this idea and I hope it was successful.

GB: How did you get connected with the crew at Vivid Solutions?

LJ: I was lucky enough to be connected with Beth at Vivid Solutions a few years when I used to take my work to be printed at the photo lab they operated. She invited me to be a part of a group show where I exhibited one of the works from this series (not included in the exhibition up now). I had an artist talk a while back with Adah Rose Gallery where I spoke about this series and I was just lucky enough, to have Beth keep me in mind for this opportunity since. I am very grateful for the exposure and it has been very inspiring  working with her and Piper on this show.

GB: Where would you like to travel to next?

LJ:I have never been to South America, so that is pretty high on my list. In terms of this series, I do hope to be able to return to Israel and Palestine and photograph the ever-changing landscape there…

Be sure to catch Adrift at the Gallery at Vivid Solutions. The Gallery at Vivid Solutions is now located upstairs at 1241 Good Hope Rd. SE above Honfleur Gallery.

Opening Reception: January 10, 2014, from 6-9pm 

Exhibit Dates: January 10 – February 28 

Artist Talk: February 1, 2014 at 2pm



January 10 openings: Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann & Michael B. Platt, Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah | Pop Up Saturday at Anacostia Arts Center Sat. 12/21

Posted on January 3, 2014 by TheDCArts

Openings in Anacostia 

Friday, January 10, 6-9pm at

Common Ground

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann & Michael B. Platt

Honfleur Gallery

RSVP here


In Common Ground, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann and Michael B. Platt have combined their disparate visual languages to create a common space. Both the process of creating the exhibition-a dialogue between a painter and a digital photographer-and the resulting finished pieces illustrate that common ground can serve as both a space and a mode of action.

This exhibition was first shown at Grace Teshima Gallery in Paris, France from September-October 2013, a project that was made possible by the Sister Cities International Arts Grant awarded to Honfleur Gallery by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Join Mann and Platt at the gallery on Saturday, February 1 at 2:45pm for an artist talk.


Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah

The Gallery at Vivid Solutions

RSVP here

Adrift presents landscapes of Morocco and Turkey created by photographer Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah through in-camera multiple exposures she made during her travels through those countries. Influenced by her status as a Palestinian American, this series reflects her constant reconsideration as to what constitutes home by photographing the places she has cultural or tangible connections to in a non-static way.

Join Jadallah at the gallery on Saturday, February 1 at 2pm for an artist talk.

Both galleries are located at 1241 Good Hope Road, SE.  


whohub interview

Do you have an online gallery where one can view your photos?

For how long have you done photography? How did you begin?

I started doing photography during college and have had an ever changing relationship to it from there. I worked as a photography assistant while completing my first degree and then moved into working at galleries and in exhibition development. I then decided to return to photography for my Master's and since have been independently curating photography-related exhibitions as well as doing other photography work on the side.

What has been your education as a photographer?

It is an equal mix of formal education and practice. The only way to learn how you really want to do photography is through trying various paths - including classes, assisting, freelancing and exhibiting.

Please list any exhibitions in which you have participated.

Anthro After Hours | Baked & Wired, Feburary 2011 Love Is... | Baked & Wired, Feburary 2011 Second Look: Prints from the Vivid Solutions Archive | Vivid Solutions, January 2011 lOuNgE, Washington, DC January 2011 FotoWeekDC | Adah Rose Gallery, November 2011 FotoweekDC: The Breadth and Beauty of Photography | Studio Gallery, November 2010 Graduate Exhibition | SPEOS Photographic Institute, May 2010 Palestine Children's Relief Fund Fundraiser, January 2009 Garden Gallery | Studio Gallery, May 2008 Partners for Peace Fundraiser | Bus Boys and Poets, August 2007 George Mason University | Women's Center, May 2007 Alternative Photo Processing | George Mason University, April 2007

What is your favourite type of photography?

Any type that makes me question what I know.

What type of preparation do you do before undertaking the photo session?

My favorite part of the preparation process is creating my mood board. It allows me to not only define my theme(s), but also provides me with inspiration and direction while on the shoot.

Describe your current equipment: cameras, lenses, computers, accessories...

My arsenal of equipment includes: Nikon D300 (and back-up) with lenses, 1 studio light, Fuji Instax Instant Camera, MacBook, two Lacie drives, a flash, light meter and tripod.

Which past masters of photography do you most admire?

Duane Micheals is my all time favorite. Otherwise, too many to list!

Do you consider yourself more technical or more artistic?

Artistic, with a lot of technical training. Technical training allows you to pick and choose how much or how little technique / equipment / editing etc. to use.

How does one develop the instinct of knowing when to press the shutter release button?

One of my professors once told me: pick a frame and wait for the right subjects to pass through it.

Which websites for photographers do you frequently visit?

I read everyday.


Public Health Innovators On The Silver Screen | NPR


Public Health Innovators On The Silver Screen

November 04, 2011 1:54 PM

Public health innovation gets its closeup.

Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah/FastForward Health

For a peek at some fresh ideas in public health, I went to the movies.

Physicians, entrepreneurs, students, activists and at least one blogger gathered at the West End Cinema in Washington this week for the first FastForward Health public health film festival.

"We're at the cusp of innovation in public and community health," co-organizer Andre Blackmantold the audience.

Organizers and speakers described the film festival as a fun way to approach a serious subject, and a great counterpoint to the American Public Health Association's annual meeting also taking place in DC this week. They dubbed their event "the un-conference."

Blackman said he wanted to showcase stories that often went untold or overlooked. The festival offered films in three categories: food and water, technology, and the built environment and community.

Many of the films, especially those in the technology category, focused on doctors, patients and hospitals. But exercise, nutrition and overall wellness were also themes. "Everything about your health is connected to everything else," said keynote speaker Robert Gold, dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park.

Inspiring people to take a more active interest in their health is a persistent challenge for public health professionals. Ted Eytan, a family physician and director of the Permanente Federation at Kaiser Permanente, said that only about 10 percent of a person's health needs are met through medical care. "You have to provide excellent health care, but that's not enough," Eytan said. Kaiser Permanente sponsored a film called Everybody Walks, which focused on ways to develop personal habits and community spaces that encourage daily exercise.

Many of the films made use of humor, animation, pop culture references and bright music. All of them featured strong characters and a sense that something new was afoot. The characters ranged from school children trying to cook up nutritious meals costing no more than a dollar a day to doctors looking for new ways to treat rare health problems in rural areas.

Blackman and his collaborators hope to make FastForward Health an annual event that includes more movies and venues in more cities. While the primary audience will remain public health students and professionals, they hope to attract the general public, too.

During some introductory remarks, Eytan said that having an impact on public health issues is "not just about statistics and data. It's about bringing whatever talent you have to the conversation." He was speaking specifically about the protagonist of a film called 73 Cents, but it was the resounding lesson throughout the evening.

Nuit Blanche DC | Art All Night DC

Adah Rose Bitterbaum of Adah Rose Gallery and I had the honor of being a part of the first Nuit Blanche held in Washington, DC on September 24-25, 2011. We invited wonderful local artists, Aniekan Udofia and Freda Lee-Mccann to perform live graffiti at the former Wonderbread Factory, the headquarters for the event organized and sponsored by Alliance Francaise de Washington, Art Soiree and Spain Arts & Culture with a generous grant by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. 

In addition, SND+VSN the music and image collective I am a part of closed out the night! 

Read more about it here

FotoWeek: “The Breadth and Beauty of Photography” at Studio Gallery | Washington City Paper


FotoWeek: “The Breadth and Beauty of Photography” at Studio Gallery

Works by Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah are among those on display at Studio Gallery.

The Studio Gallery’s FotoWeek exhibition includes more than a dozen artists and just as many visual directions. Iwan Bagus uses understated black and white to create an impressive array of multiple-exposure images of ghostly human figures haunting spartan interiors. Olivia Alonso offers an inspired image of a pair of feet resting under a momentarily elevated bedsheet. Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah photographs landscapes from a moving car, as dreamy as if they were videos. But the most intriguing work may be that of Yve Assad, who prints her color images on aluminum, lending her subject matter a mesmerizing shimmer. The approach works moderately well with an image of a boat on the water, but her work truly sparkles – literally and figuratively – in an aerial photograph of a series of almost fractal-like sandbars in water. It is a classic case of technique elevating content.

The gallery is located at 2108 R St. NW. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 1 – 7 p.m.; Fridays, 1 – 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 1 – 6 p.m. Free. (202) 232-8734.