Portrait of an Artist: Christine Kettenah (LH 04-05) Christine Kettaneh’s path to the arts took a route some might not expect. A career in finance initially beckoned, and it was a place to study Finance and Economics which brought Christine to Gooodenough College in 2004.
‘During my year at LSE I sensed that I needed to be doing something else. While my colleagues spent hours applying and getting interviews with the biggest investment banks and consulting firms, I was happily lost in my bubble in Goodenough. I was wandering in the streets of London, watching plays or taking trains to connecting cities, whereas my colleagues dedicated their time to figuring out financial models and econometric problems.
me in that computer room in the basement of London House. I will never forget how Megha and Arjun, who had just submitted their own papers, exhausted, and just a couple of hours away from their long awaited flight, volunteered to write a whole chapter of my paper. Thanks to them I was able to hand in the paper just on time – and earn a distinction. I was so touched by that gesture of kindness, a memory I will hold on to forever.
‘I remember standing in the square of London House one night and looking up at the windows around me. I remember thinking how they were like windows to bubbles of a myriad of cultures, stories and characters. They were like stars that flickered between light and dark, between presence and absence, between wakefulness and sleep. I remember searching for my own window across that sky and feeling the joy of belonging to that togetherness.
‘I went back home to Lebanon and for the next few years I taught economics at university while I studied for another BA, in fine arts. I later decided to study the arts full time and applied for an MA at Central Saint Martins. So I returned to London, just as I had envisioned I would, but this time attending to a more suitable programme for me.’
‘In the last two months at LSE I realised how much I was behind and had to do a lot of all-nighters trying to catch up. Failing was not an option. I remember the stressful final 48 hours before the deadline for submitting my research paper. I was so behind that every second mattered. I remember the concern on my friends’ faces as they constantly checked in on
From here Christine’s career has gone from strength to strength. She recently won the Arte Laguna Prize in the Sculpture Category for her piece A Beirute, with a mayo blessing. Her work Mute Melodies has travelled far and wide – from Central Saint Martins to Hanmi Gallery in London, from Cambridge to the Beirut Art Center, from the alumni show at the Lebanese American University and most recently to Carbon 12 in Dubai.
Goodenough News – Autumn 2016