„Symbols and Abstract Structures“
I paint. I have always been painting. I paint to express my emotions, my vulnerability and my pain.
My passion for art began in the streets of my village Tal Hadat, which lies close to Damascus, the capital of Syria. I used to paint on house fronts, narrow streets and lanes. I mainly drew images, which I encountered in my everyday life during my childhood. In my village, there were a couple of paintings on house fronts. Paintings expressing everyday life and thoughts of people living in my village. Looking at these paintings as a child, I memorizing them as symbols and abstract structures. They became part of my childhood; reflecting on these images, they made up my personal biography. The past becomes a lasting memory. The depth of symbolism of the paintings has always been present, at any time. Furthermore, symbols and structures stand for movement and traces (of the past). Movement is life and life is movement. A person, who is running; a child which is crying; a mother, who is baking; a dog which is barking. Everywhere in everyday life of human beings, there is movement. These movements are carrying symbols and elements of my art.
The topics of my exhibition are these symbols and abstract structures.
I studied Art and Decoration at the University of Damascus. Afterwards, I worked as a stage designer at the theatre and set sceneries for different Jordanian TV stations broadcasting in Syria. Since 1989, I exhibited my work in different art galleries in Lebanon, Istanbul, Kuwait, Ukraine, London and New York. During my entire career as an artist I witnessed oppression and repression in my home country Syria. Being Kurdish, I have been refused owning an identification card. I had no rights. Sometimes, I felt like a bird with clipped wings. Being an artist helps me to reflect and deal with my experience.
At the moment, my work focuses on symbols and abstract structures of my childhood; highlighting the discussion of “symbols” and their inner and outer world, their structures and relationships as well as space around them. The structure of symbols has ever been a focus being influenced by cultures and religions and used for different reasons. Their images have changed with trends of time. However, it has always been fascinating to portray a human being in its truth and/or complexity. In doing so, my work process is determined by keeping up the suspense between planning and experimenting.
The symbols/fragments represent fragmented pairs or groups. What I am trying to show is “the whole thing” out of fragmented pairs or to develop “something totally new”. The torso or fragment describes a deliberate focus on the essential. Thus, the human image doesn’t need a narrative accessory. Here, my work is an interplay in between a real image on one side and an abstraction on the other. The “new” leaves the body/physicalness behind and creates discrete space by combining experimental photography and artistic installation.
I have been influenced by colours and smells of my very old village Tal Hadat. The colours of my art are colours of nature. For instance, I use dark brown, a traditional colour, which is the colour of chestnuts and soil. Contrary to our tradition, building a bridge to the present, I use orange; a colour expressing love. When drawing, I use clay, tree gum, vinegar, olive oil and cotton. I produce these natural colours myself using different leaves, unripe green nuts, cooking them with tree gum. For my current work, I also use special stone pigments from different countries. I mainly use natural materials, especially wood, creating a symbiosis of nature and symbols of my artwork.
In the future, I will develop and enhance my techniques.
With my exhibition “Symbols and Abstract Structures”, I am hoping to build a bridge between my artwork and visitors. I hope that people looking at my work might create symbols themselves- finding their inner peace.