For the first time Syrian painter Safwan Dahoul exhibits his work in the United Kingdom at Ayyam Gallery, London. Runing 9 May until 15 June, Repetitive Dreams includes the first series of paintings Dahoul has created since leaving Damascus for Dubai last year. The exhibition in London coincides with an exhibition of large-scale works by the artists as Edge of Arabia, London, from 8 May until 15 June.
As one of the most prominent Arab artists, his work is held in numerous private and public collections including the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; The Samawi Collection, Dubai; The Farjam Collection, Dubai; and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Kuwait. The title of the exhibition Repetitive Dreams, refers not only to the subject of Dahoul’s works, but to the enduring influence that dreams have had in his career. It was 25 years ago that he began titling his paintings Hulum, or Dream, and he now sees the process of continually re-contextualising the theme as an artistic challenge and one which inspires him creatively. Central to his practice is the dream’s potential for multiple interpretations.
Dahoul believes that every event that happens in our life time is a repetition of another past moment. His canvases may explore a diverse range of subjects, love and war for example, but images reoccur and evolve over his body of work. Working in a predominantly monochromatic palette, the artist uses black and grey to suggest deep hollows of space. The muted colours reflect his personal life, echoing the significant absence of bold colours, which the artist noted when living in his native Syria.
Safwan Dahoul: Repetitive Dreams, 9 May – 15 June, Ayyam Gallery, 143 New Bond Street, 1st Floor, W1S 2TP, London.
All images courtesy of Safwan Dahoul and Ayyam Gallery London.
1. Safwan Dahoul ‘Dream 63’ 180 X 200 cm. Acrylic on Canvas 2013.
2. Safwan Dahoul ‘Dream 61’ 180 X 200 cm. Acrylic on Canvas 2013.
3. Safwan Dahoul ‘Dream 62’ 3 X (180 X 150 cm.) Acrylic on Canvas 2013.