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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Art for peace


Tulifanya Art Gallery on Hannington Rd., opposite Crested Towers, is one of the oldest and most active galleries in town, organising exhibitions every month. From mid November to December 10, is an exhibition of 30 paintings by Sudanese artist Ahmed Abushariaa, who has lived here since 2001.

What should pass as Abushariaa’s trademark style is his masterful contrast of bright with darker colours, which shows his inner conflict between peace and war. One of his paintings is bloody red, and others on big canvases capture destruction of innocent lives and war in Darfur.

The bright colours that appear largely in his small paintings depict life in the village and generally show his dreams about the return of peace and calm so that people can live normal lives again.

“I hope one day we shall wake up and there will be no war, terror and fear,” he says. “I support peace in all my paintings.”

Abushariaa studied art at the University of Khartoum and uses water colours and mixed media on the canvas. Sometimes he sticks old newspaper cuttings onto the canvas and draws onto them, and they become part of a painting – a style artists call collage.

Some of the titles of his works, like Symbols of Hope, Oldman’s Story, Dreams of Peace, and Once in the Village show Abushariaa’s concern and connection with society and the people therein.

This year alone, he has participated in three exhibitions in Denmark and two in Germany, not forgetting his present exhibition at Tulifanya. His unique and moving work shows what professional art should look like.

--Sunday Monitor, December 7, 2008