Behind the lines

Behind The Lines – Contemporary Art from Syria is an itinerary exhibition. The exhibition hosts 20 artists with just over 90 works across multiple formats including video, photography, painting and sculptures.

Exhibition at Penticton Art Gallery, Penticton, BC, Canada
July 8 – September 11, 2016

Exhibition at Duncan United Church, 246 Ingram St, Duncan, BC, Canada
November 27 – December 3, 2016

 Exhibition at Brentwood College School,  Mt Baker Rd, Mill Bay, BC, Canada
December 10 – 17, 2016

Exhibition at Yukon Art Center, College Drive, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
December 08, 2016 – February 25, 2017

Exhibition at Gallery at The Military Museums , University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
October 12, 2017 – January 7, 2018

Syrian Artists: Ethical Witnesses From Behind the Lines

In the midst of a conflict that has gripped the entire world, a connection created through art is bringing Penticton and Syria closer together.

Humam Alsalim, a Syrian architect, founding member of SYRIA-ART and co-founder of the Cyrrus Gallery, an online art gallery for young, contemporary Syrian artists is co-curating the latest exhibition at the Penticton Art Gallery.

Behind The Lines – Contemporary Art from Syria is a traveling exhibition. The exhibition hosts 20 artists with just over 90 works across multiple formats including video, photography, painting and sculptures.

The art is an inside look into the minds of those affected by the devastating war, including 20 artists from the Syrian art scene are represented:

Painting: Omran Younis, Obaidah Zorik, Huda Takriti, Reem Tarraf, Maiesam Mallisho, Fadi Al Hamwi, Mahmood Al Daoud, Alaa Sharabi, Juhayda AlBitar, Mohammad Zaza, Lina Malki / Sculpture: Khaled Dawwa,  Ali Almeer  / Photography: Khaled Youssef, Khaled Akil,  Ammart Khadour / Digital Art: Humam Alsalim, Rami Bakhos /  Video Art: Fadi Al Hamwi, Huda Takriti

This exhibition aims to explore conflict zones and to see the people of Syria through art. Most of the 20 artists featured here still live in Syria. They come from places made familiar through news reports like Aleppo and Homs. Many are now in Damascus. Some have left Syria altogether.

The works all reference the devastating situation in Syria or are informed by it. Humam Alsalim and Rami Bakhos’ Cultural Beheading series mourns and rages against both literal and metaphorical destruction. The body parts in Omran Younis’s paintings are a graphic reminder of the horrors of war. Those depicted in Lina Malki’s Displaced series have a palpable sorrow. Fadi al-Hamwi’s large paintings of X-rayed cow hybrids discloses the brutal animality of the human and how war provokes and exposes the dark side of humanity. Khaled Dawwa’s clay sculptures that appear to be vandalized or corroded by time are informed by his own experience: He was injured in a 2013 bombing, then arrested, imprisoned, and now exiled. Khaled Youssef’s photographs of bubbles are tragic in their fragility yet childlike, as the artist says, “Make bubbles not war”.

This exhibition is not for the faint of heart, but it also affirms the incredible capacity of the human spirit to not only survive the most unimaginable circumstances, but thrive. For those still living in Syria there are few opportunities to exhibit and as such they have nothing left to lose and are making art for the sake of art. Individually and collectively their powerful work stands as a testament to their existence and hopefully will inspire similar voices not only in Syria but also here in Canada. This exhibition is meant to build a greater understanding of the Syrian People, their art, rich culture, history and the turmoil their country is undergoing.

The exhibitions are curated by:

– Paul Crawford, Penticton, British Colombia, Canada, www.pentictonartgallery.com
– Humam Alsalim, Damascus, Syria, www.Cyrrusgallery.wordpress.com ; Founding Member SYRIA.ART – Association pour la Promotion de l’Art Contemporain Syrien, syriaartasso.com

Exhibition at Penticton Art Gallery, Penticton, BC, Canada
July 8 ‒ September 11, 2016

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Exhibition
at Duncan United Church, 246 Ingram St, Duncan, BC, Canada

November 27 – December 3, 2016

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Exhibition
at Yukon Art Center, College Drive, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Dec 08, 2016 – Feb 25, 2017

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Exhibition
at Gallery at The Military Museums , University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

October 12, 2017 – January 7, 2018

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