Layali Alawad, Syrian artist

Born in Aachen, Germany in 1990
Lives and works in Aachen, Germany

Layali Alawad was born in Aachen, Germany. She previously returned to Damascus with her family, only to recently return to Aachen, fleeing an endless war. She obtained a degree from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus in 2013, specialising in printing and graphic arts techniques. At Arabesk Atelier and Gallery in Damascus, she worked alongside her father, the artist Ibrahim Al Awad. In Aachen, she continues to study and work on her art projects.

Layali Alawad’s creations address the Syrian experience of war and terror. She repeatedly paints sadness, fear, despair, joy and the will to survive in the silhouettes and faces of women. One of her series, Secular Icons, is a collection of faces of Syrian women, whose fates keep having a deep impact on her, despite being more than 3,000 km away.

Artist’s statement 

I primarily paint faces because they are the best evidence of what is going on inside a human being. The eyes, facial features and complexion reveal strong and authentic emotions. The Secular Icons are a sort of memoire of the misery in Syria and the despair of Syrian women. I see these women racked by an immense sadness, especially the mothers. Their children, brothers and husbands have left or died in the war. And yet they’re still brave, and symbolise a final glimmer of hope. 

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