The globe of the world has become one of my themes, where I paint two worlds: one is the familiar and the other is the unknown. I have used migrating birds as a symbol of hope and freedom. I also am painting my reminiscence of a place that was and exists no longer except in my memory. It used to be home, but no longer is, as the friends and relatives have all left, and home is not just the place, it is the people that make a home. It is not easy to have no sense of belonging. How is it for all the refugees who are forced into the unknown with nothing familiar to hold onto, and no financial means to facilitate the transition? As an artist, I carry this burden and pain that is surrounding me, how could I not when I see it around me from the streets of Beirut to the daily news.
Sometimes to escape this, I paint the mirage of my memories of Baghdad. I escape in the beauty of thoughts that are expressed in vibrant colors, the rich history and heritage. In these hard times, with so much suffering around, I have to present some beauty in my work. Although the painting may be beautiful at first glance, there are hidden images and symbols of the wealth of our rich past and the sadness and pain we are living. I believe these contrasts intensify the experience of viewing the painting, to produce a dynamic and expressive work of art, as is the nature of life itself. A painting should hold the viewers attention, and offer him the sense of discovery every time he looks at the painting.
February 29th 2016