A 3 YEAR STUDY INTO THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR
What started as a peaceful protest for human rights from Syrian civilians in 2009, escalated into what we now know as the Syrian Civil War. In the years following the Syrian people have been brutally murdered by President Bashar al -Assad's regime, targeting men, women, and children. War correspondent Marie Colvin, told the world 'this is no war, this is a slaughter of the Syrian people' as a result she was tracked targetted and killed in Homs Syria by the regime.
'AFRAA' is inspired by the jars Syrian refugee Afraa Hashem brought back from Syria, filled with soil from the graves of her friends in order to continue to visit and grieve for them after being exiled from Syria. A portion of the jars contain objects symbolic of Hashem's experiences during her time in war torn Syria.
When Interviewing Afraa, I was not aware of the long silences that followed every heartbreaking experience she shared but upon reflection, more was said about the relationship and differences between Afraa and myself and the lives we live within every silent moment that passed. Despite being well informed of the tragedies Syria has seen, I began to recognise how sheltered my existence is as a naive middle class westerner.
Afraa had stories to tell and willed me to tell them as honestly as I could. To do so I have to acknowledge and be forthright about my response to the tragedies she had survived: ill equipped and inexperienced.
Inspired by the writing of Susan Sontag - 'People don't become inured to what they are shown, It is passivity that dulls feeling.' Passivity was an experimental work in process exhibition used to analysis how the audience engage with violent confrontational artwork.
This work consisted of blood-red frozen heads gradually melting away to form a sheet of red rain that splattered onto a clinical white tray beneath. Symbolic of the fading memory of refugees from our consciousness. Systematically replacing the heads during the exhibition and allowing the tray to spill over, represented history repeating itself.
SAFER THAN THE LAND 2019
‘Safer Than the Land’ 2019 was influenced by the harrowing journeys Syrian civilians have to make across the Mediterranean sea and, more specifically, three year old Alan Kurdi’s fatal journey resulting in his death on the shore of Bodrum. Influenced by decomposition within still life, I explored the erosion of empathy of western bystanders through the gradual disintegration of the clay infant head.
SHATTERED LIVES 2018
Influenced by the harrowing journey Syrian civilians have to make across the Mediterranean sea, Shattered Lives explores the devastating choices the people of Syria have to make to get themselves and their children to safety.