Colours of Syria March 14, 2019 London

The pop-up art exhibition ‘Colours of Syria’ presents the awe-inspiring natural landscape of Syria in glorious colour. The paintings and collages on display are infused with the essential beauty and energy of this country. Meanwhile, drawings and photographs in rich tones and darker shades give expression to the inner resilience of Syrian people.

Malva’s painting ‘Willow Tree’, in shades of olive, eau-de-nil and ochre, takes us to one of Syria’s verdant valleys, with weeping willow branches trailing in a shimmering river. Akil Ahmad’s more abstract paintings, with their dynamic calligraphic marks in golden beige and luminous scarlet, evoke Syria’s wide, open spaces. One, inspired by a poem by the first-century writer Al-Mutanabi, conjures up a misty dawn, and the other, a sunset. Adib Fattal’s crayon drawings in magenta, hot pink and turquoise, with titles such as ‘Palmyra’, ‘Damascus Citadel’, ‘The Hosn Castle’, depict historic places in Syria. They remind us of the intense play of sunlight on the brightly coloured architecture, and of the pattern-making and exuberant use of colour in traditional Syrian textiles and mosaics.

In luminous black & white photographs by Assem Hamsho, we are presented with his vision of a moment or place. We see the patterns of shadows of people at leisure, the play of light and shade. Jaber Alwan portrays an elegant and beautiful woman, the green and yellow and red of her dress dazzling in the darkness, as she dreams, or imagines, or waits. Of Adel Daood’s paintings, the art historian Clara Kaufmann writes:
“They are portraits of human nature or humanity itself, portraits of felt, sensed, lived and imagined lives. Dauood’s inspiration pieces his pictures together: a foot here, a face there, arms growing out of a vortex of lines, body parts and bright colours.”

 

The following artists complete the line-up of ‘Colours of Syria’, with artworks that touch on story-telling or allude to intense psychological states via vivid colours and dynamic patterns and lines: Shadi Abou Saada, Hiba Akkad, Farah Azrak, Tammam Azzam, Fadi Hamwi, Mohamad Labash and Gylan Safadi.

‘Colours of Syria’ gives a rare opportunity to view, especially, artworks by Malva and Jaber Alwan in London. Both are prominent artists who have shown widely in the USA and Europe, and who feature in major museum collections; Malva sadly passed away in 2016.

‘Colours of Syria’ is presented by Litehouse Gallery, a start-up online platform linked to ‘Art Residence Aley’, an art residency programme founded by Raghad Mardini in Lebanon in 2012, which supports Syrian artists, including through the promotion and sale of their artworks worldwide. Raghad Mardini, the Director of Litehouse Gallery, welcomes you to this pop-up exhibition of art that she has specially selected with a view to bringing Syrian colour, energy and creativity to London homes. As Ms Mardini says: “Art does not need an excuse to exist, it exists according to its own power, for its own sake, for its miracle of being contradictory to our daily existence, telling us how beautiful we are.”

Homes, Syrian stories through artists’ eyes 05 May 2018

05.05.2018 – 20.05.2018

Spazio delle culture – Khaled al’Asaad


The cultural association L’Art9 together with the London-based Litehouse Gallery present the artistic festival “Homes. Syrian stories through artists’ eyes designed to give forms and voice to Syrian culture beyond the borders of origin.

In Syria, since 2011, the civil war has caused 5 million refugees. The aim of the festival is to group together the voices dispersed by the diaspora with the aim of rediscovering the roots of the common culture to give a place and a space where to express their strong cultural identity.

After the exhibition “Ahora Cuba”, on the transition and intergenerational dialogue in Cuba, Agnese Gallo and Silva Amoruso, 27 and 28, founders of L’Art9, together with their partner Raghad Mardini, curator and founder of Lithouse in London and of Residence Aley, artistic residence in Beirut conceived for young creatives refugees, have imagined “Homes. Syrian stories through artists’ eyes “to give a place of expression to Syrian artists in transit.

The project is structured as a real journey, organized in stages and with different contents. It is a dynamic project, which involves talents for whom the only constraint remains a non-negotiable identity despite the loss of social anchorages. The stories, performances and works on show will be stories of individuals – megaphone of a dislocated community, in spite of itself, in a global territory. The festival aims to raise awareness not only of history and events that have taken place and tragedies that have marked the lives of many, but also to sustain and to put attention to the projects and future desires of the Syrian people.

Launched with a conference at the European Parliament in Brussels, the festival will be organized in several stages: Milan, Venice, London and Brussels. It will start in Milan from the Museum of Cultures, where from 5 May to 20 May will be exhibited the works of: Farah Azrak, Tammam Azzam, Adel Daoud, Araz Farra, Adib Fattal, Manaf Halbanou, Mohammad Labash, Shadi Abou Saada, Mohammad Zaza . The exhibition will be essential, changeable, just like the stages of a journey.

Paper drawings in small format  and video-art contained in a usb stick will be at the center of the exhibition: art works and artistic expressions easily transportable. The exhibition aims to be a theater for the promotion of intercultural dialogue, inviting visitors to participate in the curatorial selection of the exhibition. 











“Homes. Syrian stories through artists’ eyes”

“Homes. Syrian stories through artists’ eyes”
Project launch to the European Parliament, Brussels, 24th April 2018

On 24th April, the artistic festival Homes. Syrian Stories through Artists’ Eyes will be presented at the European Parliament, Brussels, during the second Brussels international conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the region”, hosted by the European Union and co-chaired by the United Nations.

The travelling festival was conceived by the cultural association L’Art9 and Litehouse with the aim to give a voice to the Syrian culture.

The panel discussion will be hosted by MEP Silvia Costa and MEP Maria Teresa Giménez Barbat, with the participation of Diego Marani, Cultural Diplomacy expert, European External Action Service, and the artist Manaf Halbouni.

The debate will focus on the role of art as a means of cultural exchange, in particular on the work of Syrian artists currently living in Europe.

Since 2011 the situation in Syria has forced over 5 million people to flee from their homes. The festival Homes. Syrian Stories through Artists’ Eyes aims at echoing the voices dispersed by the Syrian diaspora and exploring the roots of their common cultural identity.

The project is constructed in form of a real journey, organized in several steps and featuring different contents. As a dynamic and on-going project, the festival includes talented artists who share a non-negotiable identity despite the loss of social anchorages.

The featured works will display individual stories, fragments of a community which is scattered across the world.

The festival, curated by Agnese Gallo and Silvia Amoruso, co-founders of L’Art9 and Raghad Mardini, founder of Litehouse, aims at raising awareness about these personal stories and testimonies, while looking towards the possible future of the Syrian people in Europe and elsewhere.

Many events will be held in the framework of this festival, starting from an exhibition at

the Mudec, Museum of Cultures of Milan, Italy (5 -20 May 2018).

Syria: A Living History Through Artists’ Eyes 12 Feb 2018

Showcases the work of 14 Syrian artists. An amalgamation of their individual responses and perspectives to the chaos and distress of our time, the exhibition explores the depths of personal grief, and the capacity of the human spirit to love and hope in the face of the abyss.

 

Participating Artists:

 

Adel Daoud

Mohamad Labash

Farah Azrak

Heba Akkad

Randa Mdah

Semaan Khawam

Tammam Azzam

Suhail Badour

Mahmoud Majda

Nizar Sabour

Ghylan Safadi

Shadi Abu Saada

Fadi Hamwi

Ghassan Jdeid

The evening started with a Musical performance on oud and percussion by Rihab Azar and Jamal Sakka, followed by a Reading by author and illustrator of ” The Jasmine Sneeze” Nadine Kaadan and the highlight of the event was the Storytelling performance by Alia Al-Zoughbi.
















Through Artists’ eyes – Contemporary Syrian Art 11-14 July 2017

Through Artists' eyes- Contemporary Syrian Art

Nara-Japan 11-14 July 2017

Through Artists’ Eyes is an amalgamation of individual perspectives threaded together by the chaos and distress of the time. In their own ways, they deliver strong messages to the communities around the world and offer an exclusive insight into the reality of life in the times of conflict.

An Exhibition parallel to Nara Kasugano International Forum for Saving The Syrian Cultural Heritage for the next generation-Palmyra, organized by the Archeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture and supported by United Nations Development Programme Syria and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Heba Akkad, a young artist currently living in exile in Sweden, suffered from severe distress, alone in a country she does not know and separated from her loved ones. Soon, however, she began to use her imagination and creativity to produce art as her solace to overtake her pains. She successfully tried to detangle the feelings of loss and death and began to create colorful and bright pieces of art bridging her past, present, and future.

Farah Azrak, similarly to Akkad, tries to bring out her individual perspective separating herself from the general common picture. Living in the constant flux of place and belonging, dispersed in all directions, and the never-ending anxiety of these times, she chooses collage as her tool of expression in movement and imagination. She cuts out accumulated images and uses the scissors to destroy, deconstruct and reconstruct them into her own imageries, leaving a strong impression on the viewer.

Nevertheless, isolation from the darkness is not the only way to deal with the experience. Artists like Adel Daoud, Muhammad Labash, Ghylan Al Safadi, incorporate the dark element into their artworks. Daoud’s monochromatic beasts portray a sensitive take on the childhood memory and his current representation of them. Using different paper manipulations and techniques, he brings out details allowing the viewer a gentle approach to these savage beasts. While Muhammad Labash’s paperwork act as vivid studies of his imagination building on the refine use of line and brush to alter surfaces and landscapes. His works are gateways to his mind and how he sees the world around him. Ghylan’s graphic almost comic images represent scenes of life under pressure and the absence of light in the memories held in the mind. Lastly, Shadi Abu Saada’s colored paperwork are renderings of everyday life using the technique of layering to add dimension to what is seen and what can be seen in different perspectives.


 



Reflections exhibition at Arab British Center 22 June, London, UK

reflections

Reflections:

A collective exhibition showcasing, for the first time, contemporary artworks by seven talented emerging artists from Syria, who are all currently displaced from their homes. Farah Azrak, whose collages were being exhibited, was present and spoke about her experiences in London, Amsterdam, Turkey, and Beirut. Along with this, a screening of the trailer of the documentary “Art of Resilience” was shown which gives an insight to the Art Residency and the experiences of the artists who were a part of it.

The show features a collection by Heba Akkad, who is based in Sweden. Her pieces illustrate her mental health issues that she was able to overcome through art and creativity.

There are black and white drawings by artist Adel Daoud in which he uses a special technique. His work is currently being shown in Austrian Museums. The drawings are hung alongside sketches by Muhamad Labash, who currently resides in Lebanon.

At a corner of the exhibitions hangs a black and white “tree” charcoal on paper painting, all framed in black, paying homage to the artist Mahmoud Majdal who was forced to join the war in Syria and sadly, was killed a month ago.

Drawings by Shadi Abou Saada and portraits by May Hamdan Zmorrod add glamor and beauty to the show.

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