Terre /Mer...  Into the Fog

“…in the late afternoon, I used sit at the window, stick my face between the two iron bars and watch it come; that huge white mass rushing up the mountain engulfing everything on its way…”

The open space in Hanibal Srouji’s works refers directly to what he used to perceive as a child. Fog seems to continue to materialize and transform in an abundance of shape and form engulfing in his work as this open space… childhood memories are at the heart of his artistic production.

The large “Land / Sea” works, reflect upon the artist’s relation to his homeland, a mountain facing this horizontal ever changing blue line beyond which is the world… The works combining neon lights, fire and paint on canvas, make reference to the artist's childhood memories of Beirut in the 1960's and early 70's when neon signs lit the centers of the city. Beirut, for those who remember, was a major cultural and commercial center in the Middle East just before the outbreak of the civil war that put out its lights for more than 20 years...

These works are meant as signs of rebirth - light and color on burnt canvas – should the light shine again, in spite of difficult times. They hang, also, as a tribute to the hopeful rebirth movements that are taking place in the Arab world today.

These works remain autobiographical as they exist as a result of converging forces, encounters, events and people; where our paths crossed. Using fragments of childhood memories, simple references to natural elements, signs and significant marks to create a harmonious visual space, where parts are complete, yet in their multiple, they complete the whole.