Syrian artists Ibrahim Fakhri and Tarek Tuma have joined the #ART4PEACE campaign in London by creating two powerful canvases in reaction to the crisis in Syria.
The campaign was launched earlier this month as part of Talking Peace Festival, inviting more than 20 artists to paint their interpretations of peace. It will draw to a close with a public auction at Hoxton Gallery in East London on Friday 3 October 2014. The artworks are currently open to the public for viewing at the gallery (details).
There is also an opportunity for potential buyers outside London to start bidding online (www.intalert.org/art4peace). All proceeds will go towards funding the work of the charity, which is working on peaceful resolutions to conflict in more than 25 countries, including in the Middle East.
Tarek Tuma, who counts Pablo Picasso among his influences, said:
“This piece is an embodiment of hope, peace and love. I think art can be a great force against war. You have the force of destruction represented by wars and atrocities, and you have another force of creation represented by art. In Syria, people are expressing themselves in an artistic way which is very powerful.”
Ibrahim Farkhi, whose spray-painted stencil canvas is based on a photograph of a Syrian refugee child, said:
“To show a smile – the humanity of a child – is the main goal of this piece. I would like politicians to see the other side of the story and to see that children have nothing to do with what’s happening now. To live in peace is their right.”
Artworks available in the auction have come in both locally and on an international scale, including Yoko Ono, the multimedia artist, singer, and peace activist donating an interactive sculpture titled ‘Colours of the Globe’.
Secretary General of International Alert Dan Smith said:
“The approaches these artists have taken are fresh and challenging. It has been fascinating to compare their works which have equally inspired and provoked.”
Images (top to bottom): Tarek Tuma at work; ‘Untitled’ by Tarek Tuma; ‘Syria’s children deserve better’ by Ibrahim Fakhri
Bid on these works and others here: www.intalert.org/art4peace
About the artists
Ibrahim Fakhri is an Oxford-based Syrian artist and activist. Since the crisis in Syria, Ibrahim’s work has shifted from a focus on sculptures to his works of graffiti. He has exhibited the graffiti of the Syrian crisis in many venues in Britain and Europe, currently taking part in Disobedient Objects at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Tarek Tuma is a Syrian artist originally from the city of Douma in Syria. Whilst studying medicine at Damascus University, Tarek took a short sculpture course. He then went on to study three years of fine art followed by a post-graduate diploma and MA in fine arts.