Sadik Kwaish Alfraji
A SERIES OF EVOCATIVE DRAWINGS SET IN BLACK INDIAN INK DETAILING IN CHILDLIKE AND NAIVE STYLE THE DARING, PERILOUS ADVENTURES OF A LITTLE BOY
A video animation of an evolving black and white drawing that depicts the story of life in Iraq and its subsequent displacement as a visualised stream of consciousness. These are sightings from “Driven by Storms (The Notebooks)” the latest installation of works by multimedia Iraqi artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji at Ayyam Gallery Beirut. The body of work describes an exchange between the artist and his nephew Ali, who expressed his longing to escape war-torn Baghdad in a handwritten letter.
After receiving the child’s message, Alfraji was haunted by the image of a small boat that Ali included so as to illustrate his dream of floating away from the devastation of Iraq after the 2003 invasion to the safety of the Netherlands where the artist is based.
Weaving together a narrative of displacement with the imaginings of his nephew, Alfraji recounts his own visions of exile as marked by the recurring dream of returning to the Baghdad of his childhood while depicting the fantasy world of a boy who seeks to leave behind the calamity of war. Alfraji’s deeply personal graphic project offers a glimmer of hope during our prevalent dark times when the whole of the Middle East finds itself in a whirlpool of conflict, violence and migration.