Omani paints plight of Syrian refugees on canvas

Energy Wednesday 24/January/2018 21:42 PM
By: Times News Service
Omani paints plight of Syrian refugees on canvas

Muscat: A new painting of a Syrian refugee by an art graduate depicts the subject’s struggle and pain as he pulls his child out of a narrow frame, full of a group of sad refugees in the background, their shoulders burdened with the tragedy of war, all seeking an alternative homeland and safety.
That is the message of the artist, Iman Al Khatry, 24, who spent three months completing the refugee painting for her graduation project at the art department in Sultan Qaboos University. It is easy to confuse Iman’s painting with a photograph.
“For me, it is always better for an artist to express an idea in a way that suits the subject. Refugees are a major issue; they have been deprived of their rights, their children, and their homes. The refugee crisis is a recurring feature on news sites everywhere.
“The artist always has his own ways of supporting and standing up for public issues. I used the technique of Trompe l’oeil as my inspiration in my painting of the departure of a Syrian refugee -physically- from the frame, which symbolises the homeland, but his heart and soul is still in his homeland. It is a technique that depends on the illusion of a three-dimensional model, but the work, in fact, is flat.
“For the refugee painting, I received a lot of positive feedback on social media, because the issue I covered in the painting touches everyone who sees it. Some people even asked me if they could buy the painting,” Iman remarked.
The painting poses a number of questions as Iman noted: “What will these refugees face in the new country? Was their decision to leave home right? Did they find the life they dreamed of abroad? Or will their dreams evaporate when the ship sinks in the middle of the sea?”
Iman explains, “Alongside the refugee issue, the painting also portrays emotions we can relate to: Is the escape from the problem a solution, or will we have to confront it until the last breath? Is the escape decision the right one, when a person is confronted with a choice between life and death?”