Firetti Contemporary
Sawsan Al Bahar
(Syria, 1990)
Graphite on paper
Medium: drawing
Artwork description

“Before he passed away, my grandfather wrote his memoirs, dedicating entire chapters to Jaffa; many more to Damascus. With his mother and siblings, he left Palestine in 1947 as a child for a family visit to Damascus, unbeknown to him that he would never return again. 70 years later, Jaffa would not leave him, and the repercussions of his exile still live on generations later within me; within my family. His memories are my point of departure and arrival. I pull threads and fragments from his remembrances to bring forth, with my wispy drawings, the past reimagined, reconstructed, and not forgotten, searching for an imaginary substance for Jaffa, for Damascus, and the everlasting dream of home. Much of these drawings are of fabricated spaces and objects. I draw out artefacts from memories, which I then fabricate in digital form. Searching for and constructing 3D scans is my desperate at- tempt to find intimacy in these domestic building blocks of home: to experience them, to mourn them, even in a hollow ghost-like form. Each depicted object and space holds a personal narrative and an intrinsic history, linking them to that personal ancestral text, loaded with absence and presence through not only their domesticity but also the time spent constructing every drawing, by hand, from dust.” - Sawsan Al Bahar

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