Exiled Syrian artist Sara Shamma holds art exhibit in London, UK showing horrors of war in Syria…
… and providing first-hand artistic insight about what kind of future is possible if things stay the way they are and leaving the obvious question about where humanity is likely to be heading today…
The exiled Syrian artist, Sara Shamma has been in London, UK this week for the opening of her major solo art exhibition.
The exhibition, “World Civil War Portraits”, was inspired by Shamma’s experiences and understanding of the war in Syria.
“The main inspiration is the war that is happening now in Syria and that is spreading everywhere from Syria to Yemen, to Egypt, to France and Copenhagen. So, this is my main inspiration.”
The war began four years ago when peaceful protests against four decades of rule by President Bashar al-Assad’s family in March 2011 degenerated into an armed insurgency following a fierce security crackdown.
In February of this year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll after nearly years of civil war in Syria has risen to 210,060.
The Observatory, which is based in Britain and has a network of activists across Syria, said that 10,664 children and 6,783 women were among the dead.
Shamma said she wanted to show the experience of war through her paintings, portraying people who have been displaced, tortured and killed.
“These paintings are about the dead people — 200,000 to now — the dead people in Syria. So, I want to bring these dead people to life. In want you to see them, look through their eyes, to feel their differences, to defend their differences because they deserve to be alive. So these paintings are the dead people. Dead living people.”
Before the war Shamma was one of Syria’s best known artists, but she was forced to leave the country with her two children in 2012 after a car bomb exploded outside her flat. She has since move to Lebanon where she produced her latest work.
In light of the ongoing destruction across much of Syria, Shamma finds it difficult to be hopeful that she might one day return to her homeland and find there is peace.
“I think that this war now it’s reaching Europe. It might reach more than Europe. So, I think that this war if it is doesn’t stop right now it will reach you in a way, so I don’t want to say that I’m optimistic. I think that I’m realistic but I can’t see anything optimistic in the near future,” she said.
The exhibition is presented by StolenSpace Gallery and will be on show at the Old Truman Brewery in London until May 25th… highly recommended!