Art Represent in collaboration with The Gli Acrobati gallery and Syria.Art association is proud to host Splendida, Ardente with works by Noor Bahjat and Yara Said.
The two young artists from Damascus weave together personal experiences and critical thinking, leading us to reflect on the destructive nature of war and the “creative force” it unleashes.
Conflict redefines everything from social dynamics, to power structures, to ethics and gender identities, creating both solidarity and solitude. When living in a place and moment in history where beauty withdraws from the intimate and personal sphere to resist the daily-life that is brutalised by violence, the artistic experience and its introspection could hold the key to a new reading of human relationships and ultimately, our evolution.
Born in Damascus, Syria, in 1991, Noor Bahjat lives and works in the United Arab Emirates, after graduating summa cum laude at the Fine Arts Department of Damascus University. She had taken part to various collective exhibitions and two solo shows in Dubai and Manila (Ayyam gallery). Noor is a visual artist with an expressive style and fascination with cultural symbolism. Her works bring together intimate visions and a critical narrative of the reality she lives in.
Yara Said was born in Syria in 1991 and graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Damascus University in 2014. She had participated in the collective exhibition Feminist Art Fest and was hosted by Amnesty International for a solo exhibition in Amsterdam in 2016. She designed the flag representing the refugees’ team at the Olympics in Rio last year - now in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection and currently displayed at the Stedelijik Museum in Amsterdam. Her style goes beyond abstract and figurative categories, as she creates an anamorphic imaginary in which the visible and invisible interweave one with the other.
Yara and Noor will be in Turin from October 31 to November 4 for a series of gatherings, workshops, and conferences at the Gli Acrobati gallery.
The first spark for this kind of expressionism that I love to do started at 2011, a year that has been a turning point for many people. It was the beginning of the war. My initial motives were to understand the human nature and the flow of people’s thoughts and emotions. However, with the war continuing to spread chaotically I realised that this matter was far more complicated than I thought. It was not a local issue, but much deeper and genuine a problem that introduced me to the term “human condition”. It was a shock for me (as a nineteen-year-old girl) to find out that people can be so primitive. It opened my eyes on gaining more knowledge about politics, psychology, sociology, and theology to deepen my understanding of my role now as a Syrian artist.
I like to clarify how time affects people and surrounding materials, either this material is a painting, a sculpture, the progress of a video art or a human being. Keeping in mind shapes relations into space, sometimes light sometimes heavy. This large concept was and still is my main research concern, that I try to reflect in all my work. I guess you can call it a try to manifest the ideas I had been acquiring through these years of study outside and inside my college and to materialise it. I use acrylic colours, collage art, charcoal, ink and all other possible techniques.
Through my work, I am attempting to draw out links that connect reality with fantasy in a way that shapes our ideas, and gives our existence a sense of meaning and proof. Overtime, I have come to find the threads that intertwine existence and coincidence, with the existence of the latter not merely random accidents, but a component of what it means to be alive. With this discovery, I have come to find my own sense of existence through coincidence, and a confounded belief in what it is that I am suppose to achieve.
Noor in Arabic means light, and ultimately it is light that shines which defines all shapes.
It is also light that unites all objects. When I paint, light is always present, and it is its presence that connects the elements of the painting to give it meaning, shape, and definition. I look for meaning in the light by finding the edges of darkness within the boundaries of my work.