The works of seven established Iraqi artists - now living in different parts of the world – will be on display during the “My Homeland” exhibition, which will be taking place from 17 March until 17 April at Art Sawa, located within the Al Quoz district in Dubai.

The exhibition, curated by Dia Azzawi, one of the participating artists, will showcase the works of Nazar Yahya, Kareem Risan, Mahmoud Obaidi, Ghassan Ghaieb, Ahmed Bahrani and Rafa Al-Nasiri, whose pieces of art reflect the vision of Iraq as a memory of recent daily life in the form of all objects of art.

Amel B.Makkawi, Founder of Art Sawa, says: “My Homeland is a valuable contribution to the artistic agenda as the exhibition presents an excellent platform for these prominent Iraqi artists to share their memories and experiences, highlighting their feelings towards the catastrophic events that occur daily in different Iraqi cities.”

Numerous techniques and variety of materials have been used to produce a diverse body of work for this unique exhibition, each piece of which traces and explores the path of the artists’ childhood memories, as well as the mythology and history of Iraq.

Azzawi says: “Since the beginning of the Eighties, numerous artists and intellectuals started leaving Iraq. The trend continued after the first Gulf War as a result of harsh sanctions and, after the occupation in 2003, a new wave of emigrations followed.

“I initiated this exhibition to enable Iraqi artists from across the globe to explore their feelings towards their homeland. The result is a unique exhibition that traces and explores the heritage of a country without humiliations and failures.”

“More than abstract objects of art, these pieces convey the culture, heritage and reality of the Iraqi society, expressing sincere human feelings while elevating our perception and understanding of fine arts,” explains Makkawi. “Every artwork deals with the concerns of daily life in a country under occupation, and serves as a spiritual voyage that not only invites feelings of deep sadness, but also feelings of hope for the artists’ homeland.” 

Makkawi continues: “In setting up Art Sawa, it was my vision to create a space where people could freely interact and discuss the issues raised through art, and I am extremely honoured and privileged to be hosting this important exhibition, which highlights the plight of the people of Iraq.”