|Biographical detail : ||Iraqi ceramist and painter committed to her beloved country.
Al-Radi was a versatile artiste whose ceramics, sculptures and paintings were shown throughout the Arab world and in the west. But it was as a critic of sanctions, war and occupation – “humiliation” – that she found unexpected celebrity. Whatever medium she was using, Nuha drew on the people, events and materials around her.
Al-Radi depicted moods and events, in clear, crisp colours in her art, and devastating detail in her diaries and is best known for her book, Baghdad Diaries (1998), a vivid, witty account of life in that city during the first Gulf War.
Al-Radi was critical of the US bombing of Baghdad. When the invasions of Iraq began, she exhibited her Embargo Art – rows of figures made from recycled wood, painted and decked out in feathers and other defiant finery. “They look as if they are demonstrating,” she wrote. “Hopefully, we will recycle ourselves and survive.”
Nuha al-Radi was born in Baghdad. She moved to London to study ceramics. She lived in Beirut where she was happiest. She loved the city’s mix of people, the ease of life. Friendship was perhaps her greatest gift, and her home was seldom empty. Gardening was her passion. She was buried in Beirut’s pine forest, lying in a bed of jasmine and with flowers, her favourite adornment, when she died of pneumonia linked to treatment for leukaemia.