Painter Ayat Alhaji

I am a British-Syrian artist based in the UAE.

I was awarded an MA in Art & Politics [2012: Goldsmiths College, University of London] and a BA in Visual Arts [2006: Winchester School of Art, University Of Southampton, UK].

I have been painting since childhood.

Through my life journey into art I studied and analyzed the works of numerous artists: Georgia O’Keeffe

Francis Bacon; Jackson Pollock; Mona Hatoum; Hannah Höch and Kutluğ Ataman to name a few that were particularly inspirational to me. My art however retains its own style.

I have worked on multimedia through video art, photography, and 3D installations. I have also developed my own form of "sculpted canvases", in which a canvas painting has been raised in three dimensional relief.

I am a member of the international academic group “Art: War”. The group is a permanent member of the BISA annual conference (British International Studies Association).

I have exhibited works in Europe and the Middle East, including few solo shows, one of which was sponsored by the Sharjah Culture and Art Department in the UAE.

One of my artworks has been archived at the Museum of London Docklands following a group project on gentrification in London.

I created and coordinated several

community art projects and public events working with diverse communities, schools and colleges, sponsored and supported by local city councils.

My Project: “Home”

Home is a catalogue of my childhood memoirs and fantasies based around the centuries-old crumbling Syrian house in which I was born and raised.

It also reflects my feelings towards the crisis in my home country today.

"The Old Ceiling" The varnish is flaking off and falling; poppies grow amidst the cracks. 2015, 100 x 122 cm, mixed media on canvas.
"The Old Ceiling" The varnish is flaking off and falling; poppies grow amidst the cracks. 2015, 100 x 122 cm, mixed media on canvas.

The ancient house I lived in throughout my childhood bore a ceiling held by large crossbeams of thick branches across which planks were laid. A singular enormous tree trunk across the centre bore aloft the entire structure.

I had already begun working on this sculpted painting from my memories whereupon the Syrian crisis began. The events warped my feelings towards my memories and thus in tandem, the ongoing process of the painting was morphed.

Shattered white strands emerged, in between which grew a scattering of poppies deceitfully beautifying the exotic scene, when in truth it concealed a bitter truth.

I finished the work with the inclusion of metaphorical embellishments representing the wha