While Wandering the streets of the Old City of Tartous, on the coast of Syria, the first thing to catch the eyes of the visitors of the Wood Carving Forum is the remarkable harmony between the yellowish sandstones that make up the City’s walls and the melodies created by the saws which are at play with the wood materials scattered on the ground.
At the courtyard of the old gallery hall in the city, 12 artists from Damascus, Lattakia, Deir Ezzor, Homs, Sweida and Tartous are working on different kinds of eucalyptus and pine trunks to form their sculptures that will be showcased after 10 days at the conclusion of this event.
Head of the Forum Imad Eddin Kas’hout from Damascus, told SANA Culture Bulletin that the participation of sculptors from six different provinces “who bravely defied the current difficult circumstances” in the country has significant implication as it reflects the resilience of the Syrian artists in particular, and the Syrian people in general, and their determination “to cling to life and art” despite of the grueling terrorist war still going on in the country since 2011, which has cast its shadows on all aspects of life.
Kas’hout added that the engagement of 7 new graduates from Applied Arts and Fine Arts institutes into the Forum aims at “encouraging young talents and giving them the chance to know more about this art by practicing it on the ground.”
In his wood piece, Sculptor Alaa Mohammed from Tartous, told SANA reporter that he focused on the psychological impact of the crisis on the Syrian people, stressing that the artist should keep up with events and document them through his works.
He hoped that next forums will attract non-Syrian artists, which he said would help create an atmosphere of interaction and exchanging expertise.
Sculptor Anwar Rashid from Sweida said that the sea, the Old City and the calm have motivated him to opt for the expressionist style and choose the woman to be the theme of his work, inspired, as he said, by her world that is “full of emotions and contradictions.”
Artist Hisham al-Ghado from Deir Ezzor stressed the need for organizing more such forums due to their key role in educating people about the art of sculpture.
Ghazi Kasouh from Tartous tried to depict in his sculpture cooperation among members of a Syrian family to stand up to face “the culture of death which has unfortunately become common in our society recently,” indicating that the Forum constitutes “a great achievement, success and challenge against all odds.”
The Sculpture of Mohammed Ba’ajano from Lattakia revealed his deep connection to the sea, which was evident through his choice of a gull as the theme of his work.
The Forum is organized by the Ministry of Culture and Antradous Tourism Development Company under the motto “Syria, the Prettiest of All”.