Camille Zakharia graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering from the American University of Beirut in 1985 before leaving Lebanon because of the Civil War (1975-90), living in the USA, Greece, Turkey, and Bahrain. He immigrated to Canada in 1995, where he graduated with a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (now NSCAD University), Halifax, in 1997, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1998. In 1999 he moved back to Bahrain.
Using photography, photomontage and collage, Zakharia makes work about identity and displacement, reflecting his own life journey. He sees collage a means of expressing a fragmented identity and reassembling memories. Cultivate Your Garden (1998), shown at Sharjah Biennial 2007, is a hybrid of photographs of the places he has called ‘home’ and the friends he has made there. He has also made work about others’ experiences of displacement and exile for his ongoing project Arab Artists & Artists of Arab Origin (begun 1998), Elusive Homelands (1999-2000) and Belonging (2010-2012).
Zakharia has exhibited his work extensively since 1985, with solo shows at Katara
Art Center, Doha (2012); Bin Matar House, Bahrain (2010); Virginia Commonwealth
University School of the Arts, Doha (2006); Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax (2006) and Wichita Center for the Arts (1997).
Group shows include: Fotofest 2014 Biennial, Houston Texas (2014); Kingdom of
Bahrain Pavilion, Venice Art Biennale (2013); Un Arriere Gout de Paradis, Albert Kahn Museum, Paris (2013); In The Open, Edge of Arabia, London (2013); Lost Horizon: Landscape by Other Means, Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax (2013); New Light from the Middle East: Contemporary Photography, V&A Museum, London (2012-2013), The Island: A Game of Life, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi UAE (2012-2013); AlieNation, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah UAE (2012); Photoquai , Musée du Quai Branly, Paris (2011); Where Stands History, Lucy Mackintosh Gallery, Lausanne (2011); Apeal, Royal College of Art, London (2011); Kingdom of Bahrain Pavilion, Venice Biennale of Architecture (2010); Freedom, Chobi Mela V, Dhaka (2009); My Father’s House: The Architecture of Cultural Heritage, British Council touring exhibition (2009-10); Jameel Prize 2009, V&A touring exhibition (2009-2010), The Lands Within Me: Expressions by Canadian Artists of Arab Origin, Canadian Museum of Civilisation, Ottawa (2001-2003); and Far & Wide: Third Biennial Exhibition, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax (1998-1999).
Zakharia was shortlisted for the 2009 V&A Jameel Prize for Markings (2008) and the related artist’s book Division Lines (2004-6). His Coastal Promenade was the photographic essay for the Reclaim project that won Bahrain the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2010.
Zakharia’s works are in public collections including Canadian Museum of Civilisation, Victoria & Albert Museum, Musée Suisse de l’Appareil Photographique, Wichita Center for the Arts, National Museum of Bahrain, Qatar Museum Authority, Barjeel Art Foundation, and Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery.