Open 10:30–5:00, Tuesday – Saturday
Syrian-born, Irish-based artist Manar al Shouha’s work, A Night in Dublin, No. 2 is currently on view as part of The Tyranny of Ambition. The figure is often an important element of Manar’s paintings.
Join Manar in this gallery-based workshop, where she discusses her exhibited work, and you can take part in a life drawing session, using dry materials within the exhibition space.
Places are €10 per person and all materials supplied.
Since arriving in Ireland I have begun to mix my painting subjects between what I see here in Dublin as well as what I have experienced in Syria.
When I paint scenes of the Damascus, bus scenes, I always ask myself ‘Why I am doing it?’ I always remember the feeling of taking the bus and watching people gazing out the windows. Often the bus felt like a boat taking them away from our country, away from our present reality and wanting to live in the past that will never exist. They seemed to me powerless and angry and they could not express themselves. I kept feeling they were looking over their shoulders as if they were waiting to go back in time. Even though we all knew this was not possible.
I was 16 years old when the war in Syria broke out and it has dominated my life ever since. On account of my lack of freedom in expressing myself, and because the media doesn’t always show the more interesting angles in the news, I decided to reveal my nation’s suffering in my own distinctive way, through my art. My mother is a very important figure in my life. I am her only child and she always encouraged me to pursue my painting. I love her for that.
I came to Dublin in December 2021 and sought asylum here. My paintings reflect on the realities and difficulties that I and others feel when caught up in conflict and forced migration. It is important to me that my paintings communicate that what happened wasn’t every Syrian persons fault. Europe is now focused on Ukraine but we need to remember that the effects of the war in Syria continues with many young people fleeing Syria, because they have none or little freedom of choice.