Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Exhibition: A Salute to Jawad Salim

After wandering and roving among my talents and hobbies, after searching for the right means to express myself and thoughts, I finally found myself accomplishing one of the biggest dreams of mine. It actually happened and I received the recognition I was looking for as an artist during the opening evening of my exhibition.

It started by accidentally executing two of Jawad Salim’s paintings on ceramic relief and the idea struck me “I can make an entire collection by recreating Jawad’s work with a different material”. With the encouragement of my mentor Wissam Al Hadad, I was able to complete more than 30 art works. Some of them were copying Jawad’s work but in different sizes and colours, others were compositions of the symbols he used and was known for, and also the recreating the Freedom Monument miniature.

There it was, ready and set, hanging on the walls of the gallery with spotlights on them, my works sparkled with glaze others with mat colours (as Jawad used to like his colours), and the bronze glaze for the Freedom Monument miniature. Old and current students of the Institute were the first to attend, then came the teachers and all of them were amazed by my work. Most of them had witnessed the early process of executing but they didn’t have the chance to see the finishing part due to the weather condition in UAE.

People started to come in on the sound of the Iraqi artist Kadhum Al Sahir’s limited edition only classical poem songs. The first guests were Sa’di Al Hadithi, Mohammed Al Jaza’ri (the best Iraqi art critic) Qassim Mohammed and his wife, Mahmood Abu al Abbas, Riyad Al Dabbagh (former dean of Mustansiriya University), an Egyptian sculptor, many Iraqi, Syrian and Arab artists and other people, later family members and friends started to arrive. Then a newspaper reporter asked for an interview and it was a bit crowded so we went in to the administration office with my teacher and the director of the Institute. After recording I went out for the opening as Mr Hisham al Madhloom arrived, it was even much more crowded. Two other newspaper reporters arrived and it was the time for the opening.

With the head of Art Directory, institute director, important guests and artists around me, and the photographer heading us, I started clarifying each piece and stories related to creating them. I don’t remember how long it took but all I could remember was me explaining and most of them nodding and others showing positive expressions on their faces. I saw the face of my mentor encouraging me and almost mouthing the same words I was saying. I felt I was glowing and everything was dark except me and my work.

After finishing the round I noticed my friends who were there from the MBA and the institute and other family members and relatives. Explaining here and their and taking photos, time flied by. The hours were passing by and I asked one of the teachers how long usually such events last. He said that an hour earlier but as long as people are still coming in and enjoying the exhibition we’ll stay until the last guest leaves. And we did. The last two guests to leave were two Syrian men. One of them was an architect and the other was a painter. They took two rounds and I joined them for the third. They asked about the materials and the kind of glaze and some other questions related to the compositions. They were very interested.

My parents were busy receiving the guests and giving directions on the phone with friends on how to get to the gallery. They were surprised because I didn’t show them the work earlier. They came as guests to see my work. I felt how proud of me and how they were happy for me.

I collected the flower bouquets I received as I was leaving and the janitor closed the door behind me. The place had never witnessed such important people or such number. The exhibition was the first personal ceramic exhibition in the history of the institute since it was established 1997. Everybody kept praising me and my creativity and I was blushing most of the times. It was a great start for me and I have to maintain such level and think of the next step.

P.S. Sharqiya (Iraqi tv) and Sharja TV came yesterday and filmed the exhibition and recorded interviews with me and my mentor and some of the guests and teachers.

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Blogger Caesar of Pentra said...

Mabrouk, Attawie! Wallah, I'm very happy for you! In sha Allah for furhter success and excellence. I hope you could enclose your next postings with pics of your exhibiton. Again I'm happy for you. You are a talented and ambitious girl and you deserve all the best. I wish I was there to share those delightful moments with you. Keep rocking, girl!

2/01/2008 6:07 PM  
Blogger Konfused Kid said...

For some reason I feel very proud of you, I'm not a family or a close friend, bass ya3ni when Rukaya Hasan said "al-Fanana Attawie", it felt awesome, more than I expected I would feel, I don't know why.

On a more selfish note, I can say that I know a well respected artist personally before she became famous.

2/02/2008 8:05 AM  
Blogger David said...

I am fascinated by the story of your exhibition Attawie. I am very happy for you that it went so well! :)

I searched for Jawad Salim on the net and found a few sites. It is interesting that he was born in Mosul and that Mosul was part of Turkey at that time. I found a recent picture of The Freedom Monument taken last year. Now, I really want to see your miniature recreation.

You certainly had some very distinguished guests visit your exhibition! To hear their appreciation of your work must have been very special for you indeed. You have taken a big step forward in your artistic development. Congratulations on your accomplishment!

I hope you will post some pictures for us soon. :)

2/02/2008 12:43 PM  
Blogger Marshmallow26 said...

Hey Attawie,

Alif mabrouk dear, although I missed the interview on TV, but I am proud of you as well..and felt taht you did great :)

Keep up the good work

2/04/2008 11:52 AM  
Blogger attawie said...

Thank you Caesar. I hope I can post the photos soon but I didn't get the cd yet. and I'm waiting for the ADSK STILL

Kid, I guess Blogging made us close friends after all if you say the word "fanana" made you proud of me :D
On a more selfish note, you can say you witnessed a star being born ;P

David, I'm glad you found good material about Jawad Salim. I was thinking the other day of creating a web page for him and add all the links and photos related to him and his work, because I couldn't find the good amount of info about such a brilliant artist.

Thank you very much dear, I hope you'll catch me on the next interviews or maybe come to one of my exhibitions in the future :D

2/09/2008 10:40 PM  
Blogger John Hudson said...

Asalamu alaikum,

I would like to talk to you about the condition and future of your country.

As a British born Muslim Convert to the religion and learning from its classical sources, the quran and Sunnah of the prophet and the prophets before him,

Jesus, Moses may peace be upon them all, I believe that I have a Solution, that we all hold a solution to the subjugation of your country and many others in your region.

A bit about me... I was Christian, but never believed that Jesus was a God or that I needed to contact priests or worship idols to worship. So the jump to the proofs of Islam was a very easy one for me. Most of all because I also knew that Secularism was a false way of life, so the option that was being given to me by my government was extremely barbaric, and based on lying to me about what its real intentions were. If you ever came to Britain you would know that the anti Islamic propaganda and foreign policy combined makes to dehumanise Muslims and paint Islam as a backward set of rules, and that secularism is way more “civilised”

This roused my suspicions, and I started to dig for the truth that these people were obviously trying to hide and destroy.

When I looked into the Shariah Law that the prophet Muhammad left behind, I saw that it was beautiful in its simplicity and left a full ideology which had no real contradictions, and was based on truth alone.

Iraqis need to understand the length that will be gone to by the Western powers to keep control. Propaganda has reached a very sophisticated level over here. They work on perceptions of the masses years before carrying anything out. Iraq was a typical example. The news was awash about the “threat” that turned out to be a lie, but literally 1 year before 9/11 this was going on. I don’t need to go into 9/11, I would hope that you would have the understanding I am talking about when I say that they will go to any length to secure their position – the US that is.

The point is, we are missing the point if we just concentrate on the effects of what this tyranny is doing, whilst they smile for the cameras. We have to cut it off at the root. The root is the thoughts of the people. We need to make people understand that only 200 years ago, while the thinking was declining in the Islamic state which covered all of the middle east, you still had so much more security than you have post 1924, when the khilafah was dismantled, and the West divided your lands and installed its satellite rulers. Now you are just toys in the hands of spiteful children that want all that you have and would destroy you all if they could get away with it.

Do my words affect you? It is because they are manifest truth.

Under the caliphate anyone, Muslim, Jew, Christian, or otherwise, could travel through every land of the Middle East in safety. This is hard to understand now, but it was this way for a thousand years, the only time it changed was when an outside force tried to wage war for example the Mongols. But the strength of the system and the belief of the people kept trials on this earth short and sharp. Living in the present it is hard to except that we can be a catalyst for change... back to when Africa was the main exporter of food in the world.

There is a hadith of the prophet Muhammad may peace be upon him and all of the prophets. He said to his companions:

"The time is not far when the nations will gather around you from every side, just as diners gather around a dish." We said, "O Messenger of Allah! Will it be due to smallness of our numbers at that time?" He said, "You will be many on that day, but you will be rubbish (or foam) like the rubbish (or foam) of flood water. Respect will be dislodged from the hearts of your enemies, and flimsiness will be placed in your hearts." They asked, "What is flimsiness?" He said, "Love of this world and hate for death." [Ahmad via Thawban]

Even if you are an Iraqi Christian, as a Muslim it doesn’t matter to me, with the utmost respect in the world I am with you and all of the people of Iraq, and there are many all over the world who are trying to affect the status of the people of your oppressed lands. Make no mistake; the bombs that go off in markets and mosques are planted by the SAS of the UK and the hired mercenaries of the US, just as the Taliban were trained in South Wales in Britain by the same SAS in terrorist techniques.

There are obviously people trying to fight the occupying forces on the ground and with some success, but We need to change the thoughts and ideas of the people. The idea of democracy is just a clever tactic to bring people to the secular values of the West. Trust me; we are not as civilised as you might think at first glance. The televised "shock and awe campaign" which aired around the world by the West as 20,000 people died in 2 weeks is just a snippet of the full testimony to that. The UN reckons 7 million have died in the last 15 yearsjust in your region through interference.

BAthism has been tried, Saddam was just a tool, and when he was done with they killed him. Communism, Secularism, none of it will work. Only when we come back to the ideology of Islam will we be given the rights that the West so vigorously tells us it stands for.

I would appreciate your thoughts, If any of this offends please feel free to state your views; I wish to dialogue with you and come to understand your views.

Hope to hear from you soon,


2/13/2008 4:53 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

Wa alaikum alsalam Yusuf,

I don’t know if you are addressing me specifically or do you mean to address Iraqis in general. First of all you are welcomed to share your thoughts and ideas here. Secondly, I’m not a Christian. I’m a Muslim and I understand what you are talking about and it sounds very reasonable.

As a Muslim, I don’t mind to be ruled by the law of Islam as long as we don’t turn into Arab version of Iran or Afghanistan. I pray, I recite Qur’an, I fast at Ramadan and do my best as a devoted Muslim, but to be ruled by men in the name of Islam and I have to obey them without reasoning their law, that’s a fact I cannot live with.

Islam, with its simplicity and reason, could be the best answer to many things on earth, in politics and society in general. But I’m not sure if I can trust someone who would offer to rule n the name of Islam. In the name of equality, in the name of freedom and in the name of democracy and many ideologies, over the years we were reined and led into nothing but the abyss.

It’s a big subject and important issue that we cannot solve by exchanging comments here and there, even though it worth the effort. You may e-mail me or you can start your blog to address more people.

2/15/2008 5:04 PM  

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