HERITAGE GENEVE GALLERY, Rue du Perron 25, 1204 Genève
Dates will be announced
In 1995, I was posted to my first UN peacekeeping mission in Zagreb, Croatia. That same year, a shower of cluster bombs during the month of May in Zagreb made me run for my life. Over the years, until 2008, I worked in many war-torn countries like Croatia, Rwanda, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, and Lebanon, among other fascinating places with long periods of conflict. Driven by my curiosity as I learned new cultures, I took the opportunity to visit historical places despite the occasional dangers. I diligently took notes and made photographs of the historic places I visited. I was attracted to anything that appeared old, decayed, and beaten up by the elements of weather and time. I imagined the natural and organic evolution of monuments, walls, and the inherited stories within. Years later, I started to paint abstractions of what I saw and recalled of those places.
The beauty of decay, and the destruction and transformation of historical structures, whether through nature or human actions, struck me as significant. I was inspired by the variety of unspoken responses that are revealed by walls and the remaining ruins. I found that the walls talk, and the messages they convey are luminous. While much emptiness remains, my impressions are related to the richness of places that once existed during past ‘golden’ periods.
The paintings in these two exhibitions are fragments of the fascinating countries I visited, some with more than 7,000 years of diverse history. Thus, my theme, “Talking Walls” draws parallels from what I recognized as stories written on the walls.
It woke my senses to realise that still-standing walls or ruins can absorb the essence of places, people, and events over time, that stories could be retold, and that we can uncover a trail of such stories just by observing the state of these walls.
Recognising that there is also an incredible side to the recovery of places, I was convinced that with every generation there remains a layer of beauty embedded in the remains of every culture over time, a beauty that can be revealed if one simply scratches the surface and looks closely. Each of these paintings, made between 2017 and 2020, is a unique effort to reveal an abstraction that depicts the stories of the past.
Indeed, the walls talk, they whisper, and they reveal much that amazes us. I was inspired to create this series of paintings based on my emotional responses to these places. Each painting aims to depict stories, emotions, and grandeur. I hope you will find them talking to your heart as much as they spoke to mine.
This cold wax and oil mixed media series …
Through the use of Oil and Cold Wax Mixed Media together with various forms of pigments, I am able to selectively reduce the surface of the painting to bring out the multitude of hidden layers creating depth and a sense of fragility. Singularities and repetitions are reflected in some of these paintings which are based on specific places, objects, and conditions.