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Dia Al-Azzawi, Painting and Poetry


  • Espace Claud Lemand 70 avenue Jean Moulin Ave Paris, IDF, 75014 France (map)

Dia Al-Azzawi speaks about Art & Poetry:

At the begin­ning, my area of spe­cial­iza­tion was arche­ology. The human feel­ings pre­sent in Sumerian texts are iden­tical to those of today. Every text is simul­ta­ne­ously of its time and of all times. I found a sup­port for my feel­ings in Arab poetry, which is lin­guis­ti­cally so dense and visu­ally so rich. In the artists’ books, the painter adds a visual dimen­sion to the text’s lit­erary and con­cep­tual dimen­sion. Let us not forget that painted manuscripts rep­re­sent a large part of the cul­tural her­itage passed on by Arab civ­i­liza­tion. Literary texts helped me to elab­o­rate and invent my pic­to­rial sym­bols. In my paint­ings, the bird stands for freedom, trav­el­ling and exile. The horse sym­bol­izes heroism and the mis­sion, Ahmad the Arab from Mahmoud Darwish is the ‘hero’ also found in Sabra and Chatila… he pur­sues me every­where and always. These sym­bols helped me to syn­thetize my plastic visions, a fun­da­mental aspect in my cre­ativity.

I like to hear poetry, not to read it. The poem is like a song. The poems read by Mahmoud Darwish, Yusuf Al-Sayegh or Nizar Qabbani spir­i­tu­ally enhance you, visu­ally stim­u­late you, and you no longer pay atten­tion to the lan­guage.

Sometimes, it is through paint­ings that I dis­cover the meaning of a lit­erary text. Unfortunately, many poets often lack of visual cul­ture.

The writing is often a simple doc­u­ment. When it is inte­grated within a work of art, it gains an impor­tant aes­thetic power. Yet often the letter obeys more to the cal­lig­ra­pher’s logic, rather than to the artist’s. The letter is uni- not multi-dimen­sional.

Translated from French by Valérie Hess.

Portfolios of orig­inal Prints, inspired by Poetry:

1. Seven Golden Odes, 1979. (8 orig­inal silkscreens).
2. The Body’s Anthem, 1980. (16 orig­inal silkscreens).
3. We Are Not Seen But Corpses, 1983. (8 orig­inal etch­ings).
4. One Thousand and one Night, 1986. (27 orig­inal lithographs and etch­ings).
5. Al-Jawahiri Verses, 1989. (10 orig­inal lithographs).
6. Adonis, 1990. (5 orig­inal lithographs).
7. The Crane, 1990. (10 orig­inal lithographs).
8. Nuzhat Zaman, 1990. (9 orig­inal lithographs).
9. The book of Love, 1994. (9 orig­inal lithographs).
10. The will of Life, 1994. (6 orig­inal silkscreens).
11. Cities of Salt, 1994. (6 orig­inal silkscreens).
12. Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas, 2005. (22 orig­inal dig­ital prints).
13. Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas, 2005. (8 orig­inal dig­ital prints).
14. Al-Mutanabbi Prints, 2006. (4 orig­inal dig­ital prints).
15. Al-Mutanabbi Portfolio, 2007. (8 orig­inal dig­ital prints).