Amman(womeninjordan)—Syrian artists Ibrahim Fakhri and Tarek Tuma have joined the #ART4PEACE campaign in London by creating two powerful canvases in reaction to the crisis in Syria.
The campaign was launched earlier this month by peacebuilding charity International Alert, inviting more than 20 artists to paint their interpretations of peace. It will draw to a close with a public auction at Hoxton Gallery in East London on Friday 3 October 2014.
There is also an opportunity for potential buyers outside London to start bidding online (www.intalert.org/art4peace). All proceeds will go towards funding the work of the charity, which is working on peaceful resolutions to conflict in more than 25 countries, including in the Middle East.
Tarek Tuma (above), who counts Pablo Picasso as his inspiration, said: “This piece is an embodiment of hope, peace and love. I think art can be a great force against war. You have the force of destruction represented by wars and atrocities, and you have another force of creation represented by art. In Syria, people are expressing themselves in an artistic way which is very powerful.”
Ibrahim Farkhi, whose spray-painted stencil canvas is based on a photograph of a Syrian refugee child, said: “To show a smile – the humanity of a child – is the main goal of this piece. I would like politicians to see the other side of the story and to see that children have nothing to do with what’s happening now. To live in peace is their right.”
Artworks available in the auction have come in both locally and on an international scale, including Yoko Ono, the multimedia artist, singer, and peace activist donating an interactive sculpture titled ‘Colours of the Globe’.
The artworks are currently open to the public for viewing at Hoxton Gallery.
Secretary General of International Alert Dan Smith said: “The approaches these artists have taken are fresh and challenging. It has been fascinating to compare their works which have equally inspired and provoked.”
The #ART4PEACE campaign took place as part of Talking Peace Festival – a month-long programme of events designed to celebrate the power of words and creativity in resolving conflict. The #ART4PEACE auction coincides with the closure of the festival.