Thursday, 20 September 2012

AirSpace Studio Show - featured artist #1 - Behjat Omer Abdulla

This year's 12 artist AirSpace Studio Show kicks off on Friday 21st September, and over the next two weeks, we'll be featuring an artist and their work. First up is Behjat Omer Abdulla :

Man and His Bit of Paradise

Woman and Her Bit of Paradise III

Woman and Her Bit of Paradise II
All works are framed, graphite powder and pencil on paper.

As a mixed media artist working mainly with drawing, photography and video installation, Behjat primarily deals with people's lives. He uses art to listen to people's stories and tries to create a platform for debate. For Behjat, art is a way to raise questions about who we are and how we place ourselves in the world. It is a  way to be in touch with our responses to life and a way of speaking that allows viewers to translate, decode and change it to their own languages.

These three drawings are inspired by his father's old photographs. The project is still developing, with the digging into his family history, still in the early stages. Behjat says, "There were about 250 photo negatives. When I developed them here in the U.K., I was completely surprised by what I was seeing, as we had them all as negatives in the family for many years. I found the faces of relatives, young men and women, people we have already lost in the family, and the photos of my dad when he was in the army and when he was very young. The images are very important to me, politically powerful and I was personally discovering and going under a thick layer of family history. The most surprising moment for me was to see images of my dad and grandparents' identity cards, documents and birth certificate papers."

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