transcend borders

transcend borders

My visit to Syria in 2011 left abiding memories. Wonderful people and Syria’s exceptionally rich cultural heritage  left  me with strong positive impressions even though the civil war was beginning. Now my Syrian friends are scattered abroad. We stay in touch especially one particular family, whom Germany welcomed.

I have never made art work about Syria: this seems impertinent with the war so bleak.  Nevertheless I was pleased when the curator Asmaa Alanbari  invited me to participate in Thread of Light at the P21 Gallery, London. This presented an opportunity to offer a reminder that peoples and cultures can connect rather than oppose. We need to hold onto threads of light in a world  darkened by prejudice and divisions.

transcend borders 

is an assemblage of naïve ‘snaps’ originally taken as personal mementos, not for exhibition. Nevertheless, such every day, dead pan images subtly convey that which has been  lost.  Images of Syria 2011 have been interwoven with images recently taken in Europe. The fine lion statue outside the Damascus museum, the great Pergamon museum Berlin; the interconnectedness of cultures and peoples. A Kebab shop in Europe where a friend now works; his daughter’s name  on the window  to remind him of why he keeps going  despite  long hours and low pay.  Recently Syrian friends and I saw the magnificent reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate (c. 575 BCE)  in Berlin with  hundreds of visitors from all the world.  It originates from Mesopotamia, now modern Syria and Iraq. Webs of connections, before our eyes.


Video slides list 

Thread of Light_Press release 

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