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This section provides detailed documentation of exhibitions at ayagallery since its establishment in 2002 until 2010 after which it has focused on art consultancy and collaborations with private and public collectors.  Consequently, commitments to future exhibitions have been halted until further notice.


Boats and Burdens: Kites and Shattered Dreams
Solo exhibition by MAYSALOUN FARAJ 18 Mar - 30 June 2009 

"For the women of Iraq who despite burden upon unprecedented burden stand tall, proud and resilient, like her precious date palms nurturing like the sweet waters of Dijla and Furat.  And for her children who will reclaim the skies with their imagination, the future with their dreams."
  A culmination of three decades of sheer inspiration, creativity and intense artistic involvement, this is a unique collection of paintings and ceramics made in response to the war on Iraq, her land, her people

Golden Bird . Maysaloun Faraj . Earthstone 2009



In-House Summer Collection  2008

25 June - 25 Sept 2008

A collection of exhibits drawn from ayagallery's expanding In-House Collection including new work by Iraq's talented emerging artists as well as work by prominent artists from past generations.  A selection of the exhibits can be see throughout In-House Art: Iraq.

Baghdad Barber
Faisal Laibi 
Acrylic on canvas   
49x39cm   
2003
FL001
SOLD


In-House Collection  2008

10 Jan - 10 Mar 2008

This exhibition is drawn from ayagallery's In-House Collection and includes a wide range of works by prominent Iraqi artists.

Blind Man in Market 
Hafidh al-Drobi    
Oil on canvas   
70x50cm
1978  
HD206
NFS

Sophisticated Ways:
Destruction of an Ancient City

6 June - 6 Sept 2007
Inaugurated by Nadje al-Ali

Catastrophe
Hana Mal Allah
Mixed media on canvas
180x180cm 2007
SOLD

Iraqi artists Hana Mal Allah and Rashad Selim bring together their creativity in a defining exhibition reflecting two contrasting experiences with inside/out perspectives.  Using different art practices, both artists engage with the destruction of their city Baghdad and the devastation of their homeland. Selim and Mal Allah are part of Arts Unwrapped also hosted coinciding talks by both artists.Leighton House Museum. The following is a selection of the exhibits:


Red Zone   
Mixed media 50x50cm 2006
Hana Mal Allah is from a generation that grew with conflict, sanctions, war and occupation.  This cutoff from the West, along with a resolute desire to remain in the homeland despite unprecedented violence, lawlessness, turmoil and despair, has made her extremely reactive to a burning land.  Having studied and taught art in Iraq, it became obligatory for Hana to prepare herself for the cultural re-construction of a city inferno, where art plays a crucial role.  The concept of the 'other' for Mal Allah has become obsolete.  On the other hand, her interest in and fascination with the Baghdad Museum of Archeology created for her a problematic state regarding the value of identity in Iraqi Art.  For Hana, the impression that the 'other'/the West is a model for cultural transmission has been completely shaken, given the nature of its conduct in her habitat.  The idea of a cultural reconstruction of an active Iraqi identity has become an important form of self defense in the face of the 'other' who is attempting to eradicate the very core of this identity.

Ineffective Game I   
Mixed media   
80x80cm
2006 SOLD
 
 
"In this exhibition, the focus of my work is based on a recurring problematic visual; an image of Baghdad as a city founded on an accumulation of artifacts that bear witness to a rich cultural and historical heritage.  Yet on the other hand, a city bearing witness to systematic destruction (repeatedly vandalized and burnt throughout history).  The existence of the Baghdad Museum of Archeology denotes that Mesopotamia; the land between the two rivers (Tigris and Euphrates) is the cradle of civilization.  Given this, I question whether it is possible that the cultural face of Baghdad is intrinsic in its points of destruction.  For this specific reason, my artwork is based on geometry and meticulous order, which once completed, is deliberately shattered, in an expression of chaos on order and perhaps the contrary."

Warka Temple Wall II   
Mixed media   
40x40cm
2006   
HMA010   

Born Thee Qar, Iraq, 1958.  Diploma Graphics, Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, 1979; BA & MA Painting, Academy of Fine Arts, Baghdad, 1988 & 2000 and PhD Philosophy of Painting, 2001.  Gained important Awards and her work can be found in private collections world-wide and important public collections including the National Museums of Modern Art in Baghdad and Jordan.  She is a member of the Iraqi Artists Society and a founding member of Hewar Art Journal.  Lives and works in Baghdad where she lectures at the College of Fine Arts and is currently the Head of the Graphics Department, IFA. 


Fragment from the Seven Eyes (Heads)   
52x52cm 2007 SOLD

'My art brings together in a multitude of ways debris and the discarded. The process inspires me to find beauty in the terror of loss and to imagine.'  Rashad Selim proposes a Memorial to the War on Iraq 'To do Justice to the devastation of the ongoing war on Iraq I suggest that every concrete slab, sand bag and barbed wire used to segregate, imprison and wreak havoc on civil society be gathered towards constructing a Ziggurat, using the heavy military equipment that supported the destruction.  A Hanging Garden should then be created by the five million orphans of Iraq (UNICEF statistic) all of which be paid for by the coalition of the willing.  As Iraqi soil is contaminated, earth and compost for the garden should be brought from around the world again by orphans who as ambassadors should take this task in part as a holiday in the country of the soils origin. It goes without saying that the irrigation and lighting of this Hanging Garden Monument should come about in celebration of the return of water, electricity and waste management to Iraq. My art is dedicated towards envisioning such scenarios and its realisation.'

Fragment from the Seven Eyes (Tails)  
52x52cm 2007 SOLD

Born 1957, Khartoum, Sudan - German mother and Iraqi father (Nizar) of the well known Selim family of artists. Brought up in an international environment of Artist/Diplomat living in China, Sweden, Libya, and Yugoslavia until his teens, returning to Iraq in 1971, where he studied Graphics at the Institute of Fine Arts, 1980.  In 1983 he continued his studies at  the  St Martins School of Art in London. Selim is a researcher of history and Indigenous culture with particular interest in Ecology, Archaeology and the History of Technology and has been a student of several traditional art practices relating to music, dance and craft.  In 1977-78 he was the Iraqi crewmember of Thor Hayerdahl's Bundle Reed Boat Tigris Expedition, retracing seafaring routes of the ancient Sumerians in a journey from Qurna at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates through the Arabian Gulf to Oman, Pakistan, across the Arabian Sea to the Horn of Africa. These privileged experiences are central references of his imagination.  He has taught and lectured at Schools, Universities and Cultural Centres and is a practising professional artist with extensive exhibitions.  His artistic output includes publications, film and photography, printmaking, sculpture, illustration and stage design.  He has worked as an art consultant with the UN and non-governmental organisations as well as in a volunteer capacity at grass root level development and cultural activism.  He is an active associate of iNCiA and is a member of the Iraqi Artists Society. His work, represented by ayagallery is in major public and private collections including the British Museum.  Lives and works in London.

The Flower of Baghdad (Ministry of Interior)   
52x52x16cm
2007
RS003  


Nadje Al-Ali is a lecturer in Gender Studies at SOAS (School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London); specialized in women and gender issues in the Middle East as well as the gendered aspects of migration and diaspora mobilization.  Her publications include Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East and New Approaches to Migration and the recently published Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (Zed Books). Al-Ali is a founding member of Act Together:  Women's Action on Iraq.  She has been interested in the works of both artists and has closely followed their progress since preparing for this show.

Words..Fragmented..Unbroken
Oct 2006-Feb 2007
Open Days: 18 & 19 Nov 2006

In follow up to the British Museum's groundbreaking Word into Art exhibition (May-Sept 2006) ayagallery iproudly presented this show featuring 'word' based art drawn from ayagallery's own collection of In-House artworks as well as newly made works in a range of media to include painting, sculpture, ceramics, photogrpahy and appleque (layered textile) by the following artists: Halla Ayla, Hamza Bounoua, Taha al-Hiti, Maysaloun Faraj, Karim Farhan, Said Farhan, Rashad Selim and the budding young talent Nadya MousawiA selection of the exhibits are featured directly below.  Said Farhan  Valise 1 (detail) Mixed media on canvas 29x42cm  2005 SF012


I am Woman    
1/100 giclee print & mix media    
58x46cm
2005
HA 005

"I have since returned to my Arab roots compelled by a desire to reconnect with my heritage and discover anew the land and culture that has formed me as a person and an artist.  My work focuses on presenting images that are unique to the Arab world, its history, and its people.  My interest lies in unveiling the distinct allure, colour and beauty of the region's fascinating and visually vibrant life and culture.  Inspired by Arab and Islamic art, architecture and calligraphy, my artwork begins as photographs which I take during my extensive travels throughout the Arab world.  I then apply a variety of techniques including Polaroid image transfers, wax, paints, pastels and collage.  As a carrier of images from east to west I hope that my works act as bridges, illuminating the richness and complexity of the Arab world, its ancient history and traditions, revealing the enchantment of such a misunderstood region."  Halla Ayla was born Baghdad, Iraq, 1957.  Achieved BA Business from the Sorbonne, Paris; American College in London and Webster University, Geneva also MA Marketing & Business.  Ayla is a self taught photographer, consolidated by art courses at the College of Marin, California USA with more than 30 years of experience as a photographer.  Her work has been exhibited throughout the Arab world, UK, Europe and the USA.  Ayla has lived between Baghdad, Beirut, Riyadh, Europe and the USA where now resides, since 1991.


                                                                
HB001HB002HB003HB004HB005

The artworks above are from a series entitled Door (mixed media, 200x13cm, 2006).  Born Algeria, 1979.  Achieved Higher Studies in Arts in Algeria.  Bounoua has held ten one-man shows to-date and participated in important exhibitions in Kuwait, Brazil, Canada, France, Bahrain, Amman, Bosnia and Algeria.  He has won numerous awards including 1st Prize, International Euro-Algerian Art Conference, Belgium, 2001; 1st Prize, Mediterranean Sea Art Award, Marseille, France, 2000; Honourable Award, Ecume Prize, French Cultural Group, Marseille, France, 1999.  Bounoua is a member in both the Algerian and Jordanian Plastic Art Associations.  His artwork can be found in private and public collections world-wide.  He has been living and working in Kuwait since 2003.  Further artwork by Hamza Bounoua featured can be viewed in In-House Artists: Other.


Yehtesib    
Arabic ink on parchment with 24K gold    
61x56cm
87x90cm framed
1425H/2004
TH006

Taha Al-Hiti is an architect by profession.  From a very early age however he was enchanted with writing, in particular the way Arabic letters, words and lines interwined to form calligraphy.  Touched by the teachings of master calligrapher Abbas Shakir Joody al-Baghdadi, he soon learned to distinguish between the different styles e.g. Turkish, Baghdadi and Egyptian and even learnt to 'guess the calligrapher' who was behind an exquisite pieces of calligraphy!  "It was from calligraphy that I fell in love with Architecture; Calligraphy in its larger scale is linked to Architecture, both being essentially based on proportion and measure."   Taha al-Hiti was born Baghdad, Iraq, 1971.  Postgraduate Diploma; Architecture, Vienna Technical University, Austria, 1995-6 and BSC Architecture, College of Architectural Engineering, University of Baghdad, 1989-94.  Further information and exhibits by Taha al-Hiti can be viewed in Calligraphy.


Letters from Dijla & Furat
Earthstone and gold
32x22cm & 37x22cm
2004   
MF004 & MF005 

"It was inevitable that Arabic in all its richness; the written word, music, culture, faith and poetry found its way deep into my heart and played a crucial role in my creativity.  Relationships have been at the core of my artistic expression and a narrative that is often explored within.  It is the breaking down of these relationships that concerns me most as I find it a root cause for immense chaos and suffering; innocence and beauty forever lost.  Given the state of our world; this so called 'new world order', in between intensive bouts of art making, I often find myself questioning whether art really matters?  Is it necessary?  Does anyone care?  Where does it stand in the midst of all the violence, destruction and despair?  Again and again, I find the answers deep within and know that if there is any chance for hopeand if there is any chance for humanity, it will be on the hands of artists.  George Bernard Shaw once wrote: 'You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul'.  The human spirit is resilient and as long as there is soul, there will always be inspirationthere will always be art.  I look upon my art as a journey with a narrative that continues to evolve.  Through it I try to make sense of my being and my place in the world and hope that by doing so, I am able to make a difference, no matter how small.  I believe it is raindrops that cause rivers to flowand I would be happy to be a raindropmy existence would be justified."  


Book  
Mixed media on paper  
28x60cm
2005             
KF003
SOLD 

"I draw inspiration from Iraq's rich historical and cultural heritage, expressing this through texture, warm earthy colours, signs, codes and symbols, trying to reflect antiquity in a contemporary mode.  Books have always intrigued and fascinated me.  They have been and continue to be the main focus of my work, be it book covers, pages; first or last.  Through these 'gates of knowledge' I am able to express poetry, spirituality and peace."  Karim Farhan was born Baghdad, Iraq, 1958.  Achieved BA Painting, Institute of Fine Art in both Baghdad and Lausanne, Switzerland.  Farhan has contributed to more than twenty noteworthy group exhibitions world-wide and has held ten solo-exhibitions to date.  Lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland.


Valise 17   
Mixed media on canvas   
100x97cm
2006  
SF017

"Carrying Exile Away: When Said Fahran left off to exile, all he took with him was a suitcase. It was anonymous and contained just enough to survive as well as a few personal treasures: a fragment of the East, a testimony of the artist's life and universe, of his sensitive landscape.  They were symbols of a life rich in emotions, family ties, voices, places, colours, scents, signs and lights. As years went by, they became the beacons of a creative spirit that found its expression in the art and technique of painting.  Haunted by his past, Farhan finds inspiration in souvenirs of the past while at the same time drawing energy from the present. The light that emerges from his Iraqi roots has been seeping with increasing intensity into his work. He now feels ready to understand and appreciate why the real destiny of an émigré does not unfold in a specific country but by the authenticity and force of emotions, wherever they occur.  This revelation and the rediscovery of the suitcase inspired a new set of paintings made of pieces of painted cloth, sewn together with string and surmounted by a simple wooden stick. Their material bears the scars of the painter's exile. The artist understands and shows that it is only through art that the reality of everyday life, transcended by experience, can give sense to the fragility of emotions imprisoned by the mirages of time.  This unforgettable human experience helps understand why the painter's work will never be inspired by one place but by all places.  Each sign refers to this universal freedom and openness. Exile a book that one cannot finish writing, will always remain an inner image that can sometimes be grasped by a resurgent souvenir, an emotion, a colour, a scent or a voice.  Let the painter pick up his suitcase, for it carries a secret hidden in an even deeper secret that only the act of creation can apprehend and express."

Valise 18   
Mixed media on canvas   
137x170cm
2006   
SF018

Born Baghdad, Iraq, 1955.  Studied psychology, sociology, painting and graphics in Baghdad, Paris, Geneva and Lausanne.  Farhan is member of the Society of Swiss Painters, Sculptures and Architects.  He  teaches drawing and painting in Beausobre College, Switzerland.  Has executed numerous limited edition publications including: L Absent, Adonis's Poems, Lausanne 1984; Ismael, Lausanne, 1988; Célébration, Les Yeux Ouverts, Geneva, 1987; Désert Entre Ces Murs, Alain Rochat's Poems, Lausanne, 1993.  Farhan has exhibited widely and his work are in noteworthy public collections world-wide including the British Museum.   He lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Further works by Said Farhan featured in this exhibition can be viewed in In-House Artists: Iraq


Rain Symphony 2 (detail)
Inspired by Unshoudet al-Mattar by Bader Shaker al-Sayab 
Appleque: layered textile   
75x27cm
2006  
NM002
SOLD     

"The enchanting region of the Middle East, where I spent the first 10 years of my life, has been a primary source of inspiration in my artistic expression.  The gracious date palm, which is a symbol of the Arab world, is a major feature in my work.  This has lead me to using natural tones with earthy hues, lush greens and hints of maroon and warm reds.  Arabic poetry also plays an important role in my work as I use imaginative and creative ways to transform writing into art.  Although the text is legible, there is no need to be able to read it to appreciate the beauty contained within the letters in their abstract shapes as they speak for themselves.  Rain Symphony is a series of works inspired by the famous late Iraqi poet Badir Shaker al-Sayyab's most renowned poem Unshoudet al-Mattar (Rain Anthem).  I freely express myself using different methods and media applying a combination of heavy earthy fabrics in contrast with finer sheer ones to subtly create texture and highlight the rich diversity present within Arabic culture.  As I specialised in embroidery when studying textile design, this has been my main focus, where I use material with paints and threads on fabrics.  The technique of machine stitching enables the liberation through which the abstract notion of the theme can be absorbed.  I also incorporate the use of appliqué; the layering of one fabric upon another; in a contemporary way, to reflect the imposition of modern textures upon historical grounds."   Nadya Mousawi was born Baghdad, Iraq, 1975.  Achieved BA (Hons) Textile Design, University of Central England, Birmingham, 1998.  Since her graduation, she has been extensively travelling the world including Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Australia, Africa, China, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Europe and the US, absorbing the different cultures throughout.  Nadya lives and works in London.


The works below are from a series entitled Ain/Om Tonalities (Monotype print, 75x8.5cm, 1998).  New works by Rashad Selim for this exhibition will be uploaded shortly.  Further works can be viewed in In-House Artists: Iraq.

                                 
RS 011 (SOLD)RS 012 (SOLD)RS  013 (SOLD)
RS  014 (SOLD)

"I am not a calligrapher nor am I drawn to the fragmentation and mystification of the Arabic word and its letters for arts sake. There seems to be too much meaning being lost and disfigured in our time. The abstract aesthetics of calligraphy and the word I see reflected in my sculpture, in figures that are fragments relocating themselves. Amongst my graphic works is a look at connections between language and script, for example the close parallels  between the form of letters Ain (Arabic), Ohm (Sanscrit), the Epsilon (Greek) and of other scripts in the same sound band A-E-I. I find in these connections an inspirational landscape of unity.  I also use text directly such as from a book teaching Arabic intonation and basic grammar, Al-Qaida al-Baghdadiya. More generally, Mesopotamian cylinder seals are a root inspiration as are maps, traditional Islamic arts, miniature painting and pattern set free (maybe) or simply reconfiguring in a contemporary art practice born of enchantment, in strange solitude now, marked by times passage.  In creating these works I employ a number of printmaking techniques simultaneously, opening a bridge between graphics, painting and sculpture in a build up of layered images and traces: I use print making to paint from sculptures onto paper, each work being a unique image in an ongoing series of visual explorations. I feel in this I have developed an art form that captures thought and finds expression of beauty between the synthesized moment and the timelessbetween memories and forgetting. I hope that in my work I can represent modestly yet another indication amongst the many of the interrelation of our complex humanity, unbroken and gifted in its diversity."  Rashad Selim was born Khartoum, Sudan, 1957.  Diploma Graphics and Printmaking, Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, 1980; Postgraduate Diploma Audio Visuals, St Martins School of Art, London, 1983.  Took part in the Thor Heyerdahl expedition, 1977-8 (construction and crew member: Sumerian reed boat following ancient trade routes between Mesopotamia, Indus Valley and Red Sea).  Work has involved teaching and lecturing on art in various countries including Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen and England, since 1980; illustration; stage design; photography; film production; Art Advisory Consultant with the UN and non-governmental organisations.  Established and developed numerous cultural associations including: Friends of the Children's Hospital, Rabat, Morocco; International Halaqa, Yemen and Ashford Visual Artists; Ashford Visual Artists.  Artwork in private and public collections worldwide including the British Museum, London.  A junior member of the Selim dynasty of artists.  Based in England, and regularly commutes between North Africa and Europe. 


Issam El-Said
Artist . Scholar . Thinker
4 Jan - 31 July 2006
Special Open-Days
25 & 26 March 2006
 
It is an enormous source of pride that ayagallery is able to host this exhibition featuring a unique collection of works by one of Iraq's most original and multi-talented artists, the late Issam El Said (1938-88). The exhibition is the first ever presented since the artists death and includes artworks in various media, some of which have never been shown before.  The exhibition will run alongside selective exhibits of Iraqi art drawn from ayagallery's own In-House collection.  The exhibition is part of the ground-breaking  Festival of Muslim Cultures (London 2006/7).  Unless other wise indicated all artworks will be available for purchase. Further detailed information and the exhibits can be viewed on www.issam-el-said.co.uk.
Farewell (Al Wida')
Oil on canvas
76x63cm
1961
IS265


Just a Bird
19x19cm
Etching 2/2
1997 (SOLD)

This included a Two-Day Open-Day 25 & 26 September 2004 ayagallery proudly hosted its 2nd selection of recent and newly acquired In-House Artworks by prominent Iraqi artists including: Azzawi . Sina Ata Said Chnin . Saadi Dawood . Maysaloun Faraj . Adalet Garmiany . Maurice Haddad . Basima Khuzae . Leila Kubba . Rafa al-Nasiri . Mohammed Quraish . Kerim Rissin . Rashad Selim . Alaa Siraih . Sadik Toma as well as works by the Late Ismael Fattah . Issam al-Said and Nuha al-Radi to whom this special presentation is dedicated. In the words of the New York Times "Iraqi artist and diarist whose work depicted her country's tribulations with a wry, impish wit, has died in Beirut. She was 63.  Although both a ceramist and a painter, Ms. Radi was well known for her book 'Baghdad Diaries'; a vivid account of the texture of daily life during the first gulf war and its aftermath, when she found shelter from the bombing in the family orchard in a well-to-do neighborhood."  In her Baghdad Diary Al-Radi wrote "The birds have taken the worst beating of all," she wrote. "They have sensitive souls, which cannot take all this hideous noise and vibration. All the caged lovebirds have died from the shock of the blasts, while birds in the wild fly upside down and do crazy somersaults. Hundreds, if not thousands, have died in the orchard. Lonely survivors fly about in a distracted fashion." 

Falcon 1
37x28cm
Etching 2/2 & 2/3
1997
NR001

Falcon 2

37x28cm
Etching 2/2 & 2/3
1997
NR002       

                       
Rendezvous 1
37x28cm
Etching 2/4 & 2/5
1997
NR003

Rendezvous 2
37x28cm
Etching 2/4 & 2/5
1997
NR004 


Just a Palm Tree
Etching A/P
34.5x27.5cm
1997
NR005
SOLD                        
                                  
Homage to the Olive Tree
Etching 8/10
19.5x19cm
1996
NR006
SOLD

Fisher Woman
Oil on canvas
58x46cm
1999
MH001
SOLD

Study of Sumerian Mythology
Since the eighties, I have been trying to link the ancient female statues uncovered through centuries of archaeology in Iraq with the mythology of their Sumerian creators. The meanings of the large eyes of these women inspired me to choose them as the subject for many of my paintings.  Looking back through history, from the time of Gilgamesh to the time  of the poet Bader Shakir al-Saiab, Middle Eastern women have been depicted in art with those strong but beautiful eyes. The women of today are the same as those in distant times.  As there were great women in history, there are immortal women today; they are inseparable rings.  Their beauty has given me a diversity of studies that can only go deeper.  Those eyes have two looks to life; one look is promising and the other is dreamy. There is no doubt that the women in my life are beautiful, so it would be unfair to shelve this beauty without representing it through my art. My work is a clear representation of what the Middle Eastern women have been given from face and spiritual beauty.  In the end, we have to agree that women have singular importance in the circle of life. The circle has 360 degrees and so have the eyes. The symbolism of the women in my paintings is an invitation to life through their eyes.  Maurice Haddad . August 2004 . Germany

Bemused
Acrylic on canvas
41x41cm
2004
SOLD 


Arrousa (Bride)
from the series
Weeping Palms: Stolen Childhoods
Watercolour on paper
17x14cm
2004            
MF023

Figure on a Ledge (detail)
Wood
90x10x5cm
2001   
RS015                      

"Figure on a Ledge is a sculpture raw as our time.  A figure twisting and yet still, with allusions to a noble humanity on the brink. The image and its making came to me with the shock of 9/11.  It is a cathartic work, relating inversely to the votive figures placed in the foundations of ancient Mesopotamian buildings. These figures are male with abstracted lower bodies designed to rest in the earth, the arms raised holding a platter."   Rashad Selim 2004                          

Visions of El-Hambra
Acrylic on paper
SOLD

These two paintings, are
part of a series entiled 
Windows of Light, 
inspired by Andalusia in
Spain.

El-Ilham
Acrylic on paper
SOLD

"Usually my work is based on historical and mythological themes; however the intensity of recent events made me more aware of my background.  My quest for answers took me to Andalusia in Spain, where the magnificent architecture, bold colours and brilliant light emanating through the archways overwhelmed me.  This work is a reflection of my impressions; I did not see the beauty of Andalusia as merely decorative.  It is the hidden mysteries and intrigues behind that beauty, the forgotten stories, the dramatic geometric patterns, the majestic columns and the brilliant light flowing through the windows and archways that I have tried to capture."  Leila Kubba 2004


Windows
Mixed media on wood
15x15cm
2001 
MQ007

"Form, colour, area and content combined with traces and memories of innate shapes and symbols, ancient and new, in search of new horizons.  Because art is a life value, I confront it logically and cautiously with innocence far from chaos.  With colour, I return to the non-conscious, towards a childhood, in an attempt to recapture my freedom, occasionally within a world intermingled with imagination and remembrances of visions in alliance with the mind.  This emerges as openings or windows in a vast space, creating for those who desire another performance for the reality of matter." Mohammed Quraish 2000.  The following artworks are from the series entitled Windows, referenced as follows (from top left to bottom right): MQ 001, 002, 002a, 003, 004, 005, 006, 009, 009a.

Ya Hafidh Ya Sattar
Oil on canvas 
30x40cm 
1964
SOLD

"The unforgettable scenery of his country made on him a deep impression which haunted his imagination during his entire life.  Not only the bright colours of the sky, the golden rays of the sun, the sparkling stars over the endless horizon of the desert, but even the torrid heat of summer and the suffocating sand-storms which often swept across the desert were deeply embedded in his mind."  Dr Esmat El-Said 1989

Du'bul (Marbles)
Acrylic on canvas
85x60cm
2001


City at Dawn 
Acrylic on canvas
66x66cm
2004
AS001
Un-Urbanised  Harbour
Acrylic on canvas
61x66cm
2004
AS002


"Memory is as sacred as
an icon in a shrine
To it
we rush
we smile
we shed a tear
Our memories
icons that we hold
icons that enshrine us
Paintings are the icons
of memory
A lonely memory
longing for a city...
where everything was
once made of gold"
Dedicated to the late leading Iraqi artist Shaker Hassan Al Said.  This exhibition was officially  opened by the Deputy Mayor of Hammersmith  & Fulham Councillor Mercy Umeh.  The following images are exhibits from the show.  Unless otherwise indicated all the artworks are mixed media on wood, 20x20cm, 2003: 

White Boat
Insight Sindbad 
The Way I Feel  (SOLD)Traces

Ancient Kings 
24x72cm 
2004 

Song Series (1, 2, 3 & 4)

A Sketch of Dijla
50x240cm
Mixed media on cavas
2004

Being 1 Being 2
Scene of an Old City (SOLD)Profit 1 
Sacred Palms 1Sacred Palms 2
UlyssesGame (SOLD)
Land (SOLD) Pilgrims (SOLD)
Noah The Ark


In response to the ongoing turmoil and confusion in our beloved homeland, Iraq, and at this crucial time in our history, we believe that the role and responsibility of the artist is of utmost importance, not least of which is to motivate people positively and inspire them with that much needed hope for a more promising future. The Exhibition was launched with a brief talk presented by the prominent artist Rashad Selim  with highlights on his recent fact-finding trip to Baghdad: “Reoccupy the sky with our dreams, regain the future with our imagination.” Selim's project was supported by iNCiA (International Network for Contemporary Iraqi Artists) and images from the day can be viewed on www.incia.co.uk.

The following group of Iraqi artists (listed in alphabetical order) have been brought together in a sensational outpouring of colour and emotions in sheer expression of hope.  Each artist is represented below with one artwork and his Artist's Statement:

Adalat
Stone Sculpture I
35x23cm
2003 
AG001

"When you ask about colour I say it is particular to one region of my country, well it is the same for stones. It is the oldest and strongest material in the world, it will be here long after we are gone. It has given everything to man: shelter, tools, weapons, utensilsbut most people take it for granted. Stone holds the history of the world in its veins and has many interesting thing to convey. I honour it. Through the holes in my sculpture, I am able to look into the past and the future; I can see hope for humanity. The coloured threads that bind the stone echo the colours in the painting and link them to this internal and external landscape."

Sadradeen Ameen 
Creatures No.1
Mixed media on acrylic
2003   

 "The search for a paradise that has disappeared, the reflections on the simple and invisible things of this world, the depth of substance of creatures and a penetration into the profundity of the human spirit. This is my particular world. My paintings are expressions full of modernity; they are also childish dreams in colour, expressive of the sweet passing of the beauty, the symbols and the myths of old civilization. The creatures of my work are mythical poems illuminated by the charm of my country which comes from the distant past; part of it still found in nature, the other, already perished. It is pure, personal discovery.  I am inspired by ancient civilization and religious myths, fables and popular art. I look to the art of children and the designs of ancient cave-dwellers.  I look for new horizons that have no ending.  My world seems strange to many people, but it is real, and has the taste of modernity.  When I paint, I feel that I live in an ancient world, or like a child who has just begun to learn to paint with total happiness."

Saadi Dawood
Homage to Jewad Selim
Acrylic on canvas 
50x50cm
2002
SOLD

"From the elements that my figurines comprise is that of confrontation. Confrontation of life and those 'whose salt has rotted'. Figures endure, as long as life continues. They look to a homeland on the horizon. One saturated with pain, struggle and resistance. However, 'hope' persists as long as mankind is attached to his homeland."

Leila Kubba
The Path Ahead
 
30x40x5cm 
Acrylic on wood
2003
SOLD

"I completed this small painting in September 2003. It started out as Gilgamish seeking eternal life, but the current political events took over my fascination with the past, and I found myself in the present and looking ahead to a new beginning, within my personal life and the larger transformation of Iraq.  The two figures in the reed boat represent the duality in us, the stronger and larger one is looking ahead and going forwards with courage, the smaller figure is glancing backwards with an oar in her hand slowing the process, hesitant about the uncertainty of a new future. Courage and determination are needed to move forward , but the tentativeness is also necessary to make us move with caution. The main figure started off as representing Gilgamish, but subconsciously  I changed him into a woman"

Mohammed Quraish 
Windows 1
Mixed media on wood 
15x15x5cm
2001

"Form, colour, area and content combined with traces and memories of innate shapes and symbols, ancient and new, in search of new horizons. Because art is a life value, I confront it logically and cautiously with innocence far from chaos. With colour, I return to the non-conscious, towards a childhood, in an attempt to recapture my freedom, occasionally within a world intermingled with imagination and remembrances of visions in alliance with the mind. This emerges as openings or windows in a vast space, creating for those who desire another performance for the reality of matter."

Rebwar
Kurdistan
(series)
100x13cm each 
Mixed media on MDF
1999
SOLD

Rashad Selim
Innekum Ainekum 4
30x13cm
Monoprint
2002

Anahit Sarkes
Exterior View No. 4
Oil on canvas
76x76cm
2001

"Colour plays an important part in reaching a harmony between differing elements like shape, colour and subject matter, whilst the lines are subdued as a consequence of the prominence of the concordant culmination of the elements."  

Yahya Alshiekh 
Lovers
Felt
120x90cm
2002

"Having experimented with various media over the last thirty-five years including graphics, painting, sculpture, icons to poster and illustration, I now find myself entering a new phase of visual expression, that of an aesthetic language emanating expressional stimulation I have been in search of all along.  This contemporary language is realised in the primitive material; felt, which carries an ancient flavour, transferring the spectator to that first humanity.  These works are a habituate adventure in Iraqi and Arabic art, moving to find a new artist method and open Western horizons to Iraq's contemporary art."

Alaa Siraih
City I
30x30cm
2002

"I roam the city streets, for hours on end, where I discover the elementsand they discover me. From within the architecture, rubble, alleyways, and coloured papers scattered over these streets, I construct my artistic expression.

Sadiq Toma
Nakhla
31x31cm
Acrylic on canvas
2003  

"If the lines, curvatures and spiritual infringes of my figurative artwork, portrayed in my previous works emphasised my memory's clinging to dreams, they are now replaced with sharp and anxious masses of colour.  Or perhaps, it is an emotional vacuum which can only be filled with the warmth of a loved one."  


A powerful and timely exhibition featuring a selective collection of artworks by the prominent and prolific Iraqi artist Hamid al-Attar  This unique presentation of disturbing and haunting images illustrates vividly the 'story' of Iraq, its history and the turmoil of the present day. Born in Kerbala, Iraq, 1935, Hamid al-Attar graduated with a degree in Law, 1955.  Subsequently, Al-Attar studied painting in Baghdad, West Berlin and Cairo where he achieved a High Diploma in Art Criticism from Cairo University.  He was a founding member of the Society of Iraqi Plastic Art which was established in 1956 and a Honorary Guest of the Union of Fine Arts in Damascus, Syria, where he exhibited at the Peoples' Hall in 1983. Al-Attar was awarded the Honorary Prize of the Cagne-sur-Mer International Festival in France.  The artist has participated in the main exhibitions organised by the Union of Iraqi Artists since its inauguration as well as numerous important exhibitions outside Iraq including the groundbreaking touring exhibitiion Strokes of Genius: Contemporary Iraqi Art (UK & USA 2000-03).  LIves in the UK.

Terror
Hamid al-Attar
161x110cm
1998
Halabja
150x150
1998

Women of Iraq
107x133cm
1998

Mother 
144x120cm
1998

Turmoil
107x133cm
1998

Terror
1998

Despair
1998

Scream 
152x123cm
1998

Faces
122x75cm
1998

Evil 
1998

Entrapped
122x80cm 
1998


A private collection of exclusive paintings by Iraq’s most influential pioneering artists.

Jewad Selim
Sketch for the Monument of Freedom (detail)
Ink on paper - preparatory drawing 
40x35cm
1956 (Not For Sale)

Khalid al-Jadir 
Village Scene

n.d.
Oil on canvas
40x60cm
(SOLD)

Hafidh al-Drobi 
Abu al-Shalgham
Oil on canvas
93x73cm
1976 

Abdul Qadir al-Rassam 
Dijla at Sunset 
Oil on board
27x41cm
1940
(SOLD)

Jewad Selim 
Maher Faek's House in Fah'hameh
Oil on board 
33x40cm
Mid 1950s
(SOLD)

Akram Shukri 
Haider Khaneh 
Oil on board 
44x33cm 
1955
(SOLD)

lsmael al-Sheikhly
The Bedouin
Oil on canvas
95x70cm 
1973
(SOLD)

Hafidh al-Drobi 
Melon Market
Oil on canvas
75x60cm 
1964
(SOLD)

Ismael al-Sheikhly
Three Women 
Oil on canvas
40x50cm
1997
(SOLD)

Atta Sabri 
Baghdad Countryside
Oil on canvas
65x55cm 
1964
(SOLD)       

Faraj Abbu
De Moiselle
Poster on paper
52x63cm 
1980s

Faraj Abbu 
Masons
Poster on paper
52x63cm
1980s

Faek Hassan
Arabian Horses 
Oil on canvas
90x100cm
1980s
(SOLD)

Hassan Abid Alwan
Antar & Abla
Oil on canvas
78x64cm 
1993
(SOLD)

Hassan Abid Alwan 
Woman with Dumbug 
Oil on canvas 
75x55cm 
1995
(SOLD)

Hassan Abid Alwan
Woman with Jar'reh
Oil on canvas
60x50cm
1995
(SOLD)

Ismael Fattah 
Face
Lithograph
75x50cm
1989
(SOLD)

Fouad Jihad 
Untitled 
Mixed media on canvas
42x55cm
1969

Amer al-Obaidi 
Procession
Oil on canvas 
98x148cm
1998
(SOLD)

Alaa Bashir 
30/40 limited edition etching
33x24cm
1999
(SOLD)

Mohammed Muhriddin
Abstract 
Mixed media on canvas
80x80cm
2001

Hashim al-Khattat
Calligraphy

1950s
Ink on paper
23x44cm
(SOLD)

Mohammed Saleh Zeki 
Baghdad Bustan
Oil on canvas
35x40cm 
1930s
(SOLD)

Ali al-Jabiri 
Bird and Cage
Oil on canvas
70x50cm
1980

Betoul al-Fikaiki 
Art Lesson in Ammiriya Shelter 
Oil & mixed media on canvas
110x100cm
1990 

Yasin Shaker 
Baghdad
Oil on wood
(SOLD)

Nouri al-Rawi 
City
Water Colour on paper
30x40cm
1986
(SOLD)

Rakan Dabdoub
Arabian Horses

Oil on canvas
40x60cm 
1986
(SOLD)

Widad al-Orfali
Munemnemat 
Felt tip on paper 
28x20cm
1995
(SOLD)

Khalid al-Qassab
River Scene
 
Oil on canvas
50x55cm 
1999  

Mohammed al-Hassani 
Untitled
Oil on canvas
70x50cm
n.d.    

Rakan Dabdoub
Three Women
Oil on canvas
85x105cm
1990

Ismael al-Sheikhly
Iraqi Countryside
Oil on wood

Nouri Mustafa Bahjat
Journey
Oil on canvas
55x60cm
1998

Aziz Selim
Sheqlawa
Oil on canvas
48x70cm
1981

Faek Hassan 
Au Cafe
Oil on canvas
35x30cm 
1988

Yasin Shaker
Coppersmith
Oil on wood
70x50cm
1967

Rafa al-Nassiri 
Horizon
1993
Oil on canvas
73x89cm
1993

Artworks are available for purchase unless otherwise indicated.  Price is provided upon request.  To visit ayagallery or for further information please Contact Us.

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