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Behind The Lines
Contemporary Syrian Art
Pdf exhibition catalogue courtesy Penticton Art Gallery &
The Reach Gallery Museum
Headbones Gallery
March 13 - May 16, 2020
Juhayda Albitar
Ali Almeer
Humam Alsalim
Mahmoud Al Daoud
Fadi Al-Hamwi
Aya Al Medani
Khaled Dawna
Lina Malki
Maiesam Mallisho
Alaa Sharabi
Reem Tarraf
Omran Younis
Mohammad Zaza
Obaidah Zorik
Refugee Paintings
by Molly March
Up Next
Holy Screen Prints
Headbones Gallery
Oct 17-Nov 28, 2020
Island Mountain Arts
Arts Wells
Vernon Art Gallery
Kelowna Art Gallery
Penticton Art Gallery
Kamloops Art Gallery
Salmon Arm Gallery

Residency Application


Contemporary Syrian Art
March 13 – May 16, 2020
Opening Reception  6-8 PM, Friday, March 13

Headbones Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Syrian Contemporary Artists: Behind the Lines with a public opening reception on Friday, March 13, from 6- 8 PM.

This exhibition of paintings and sculpture first came to Canada in 2016 after Paul Crawford, curator of the Penticton Art Gallery, and Humam Alsalim, Director of the Cyrrus Gallery in Damascus, opened a conversation on-line. From there, and over two years, the works were spirited out of Syria and found their way to Canada. Some of the artists still reside in Syria and other have found homes in Europe. Humam Alsalim currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

After the initial selection showed at the Penticton Art Gallery in 2016, it travelled to museums, galleries, schools and churches in Vancouver, Victoria, Duncan, Salt Spring Island, Mill Bay, Nanaimo and Grand Forks. It has shown at the Military Museum in Calgary and at the Yukon Arts Center in Dawson Creek as well as in the great hall of The Reach Gallery in Abbotsford where a full color catalogue was produced including Arabic translations of the text.

While the situation in Syria still remains crucial and precarious, Syrian Contemporary Artists: Behind the Lines reveals the undercurrents of a culture that has sadly experienced violence and dislocation. The imagery reflects this with grand-scale abstract and expressionistic paintings and small, solid, figurative sculptures. The works, often eerily beautiful, reflect the sublime allocation of will over circumstance. This exhibition speaks of strength and endurance in concert with remarkable empathy. The insistence of an authentic visual voice commenting on upheaval has historically spoken out in many iterations. Syrian Contemporary Artists: Behind the Lines is a current expression of life experiences that we have been spared in this peaceful valley. We invite you to celebrate these artists at an opening reception on Friday, March 13 (no friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia at Headbones…) as spring settles in. 

The artists exhibiting are Juhayda Albitar, Ali Almeer, Humam Alsalim, Mahmoud Al Daoud, Fadi Al-Hamwi, Aya Al Medani, Khaled Dawna, Lina Malki, Maiesam Mallisho, Alaa Sharabi, Reem Tarraf, Omran Younis, Mohammad Zaza and Obaidah Zorik