What Will We Have Left?
I was recently commissioned by Refugee Rescue to create an art piece responding to an anonymously written narrative. This beautifully crafted yet heartfelt account explains search and rescue and the struggles refugees suffer navigating unknown waters in unimaginable conditions.
In this online Refugee Rescue exhibition, each artist has responded to a one-off narrative in their own creative way, the work created is truly amazing by each contributing artists.
I want to thank Laura McCartan for firstly curating this exceptional online exhibition and secondly for involving me in this humanitarian arts exhibition. I would also like to thank the whole Refugee Rescue team for all they do to support Refugees worldwide.
Please donate £5 to Refugee Rescue to support their work and continue to save Refugees.
Donation Link: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/rescue-refugees-in-peril-at-sea-in-lesvos/
Exhibition link: https://www.refugeerescue.org/what-will-we-have-left
Exhibition Programme Link: https://www.refugeerescue.org/programme
You can read about my artwork contribution below.
Refuge is a commissioned art piece that birthed from an anonymously written narrative, describing the distressing reality of life as a refugee from the perspective of a refugee rescue first responder.
Commissioned by nonprofit organization ‘Refugee Rescue’ Surah uses the visual language of abstraction, creating merging colour fields using data sheets provided by the rescue service. The sourced numeric data represents a selection of men, women and children saved from 2018 to 2020. It is indeed uncanny that these numbers which Surah has entered into a hexadecimal colour space render themselves as shades of blue akin to the ocean, the very expanse of sea which refugees navigate through to reach greener pastures.
Abstraction is an important part of Surah’s work, he states: ‘Abstraction is deception, it lures us in translating our own visual senses into something which perhaps is untrue or none existent. It plays with our perceptions and can trigger tranquillity, calmness, fear or any other amalgamation of feelings’. By beautifying the numeric into transitions of colour we are deceived to journey the darker truths of their original engagement to the viewer.
Accompanying this work is a short poem written by the artist, allowing the anonymous narrative a voice through modes of creative expression. Surah allows the poem to be revealed to the viewer using a QR code, offering an interaction with the art piece and showing the hidden part of the artists message and it’s underlying meaning. Ultimately, it’s the decryption of these visual codes revealing the visceral messages of the struggle regarding Refugee Rescue and its true response to the viewer.