|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Wednesday, November 14, 2018
|For artist Mohammed al-Zamar, remnants of seven-week war become art in Gaza|
A bottle filled with used ammunition rounds is displayed by Palestinian artist Mohammed al-Zamar on September 24, 2014, in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. During the seven-week war which ended on August 26, the Israeli army fired countless missiles and tank shells at Gaza, and Hamas militants fired thousands of rockets and mortar shells at Israel in a conflict that killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and over 70 Israelis. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED.
By: Mai Yaghi
GAZA CITY.- Four flower vases adorn the living room of Hossam al-Dabbus's home. Initially inconspicuous, a closer look reveals they are made of Israeli tank shells collected by war-scarred Gazans.
The refugee camp dweller has picked through the rubble of the coastal strip to turn the remains of a conflict that killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and more than 70 Israelis, into objects of art.
"I wanted to keep a souvenir, but my relatives and neighbours felt uncomfortable with them around, so I had the idea of painting them to make them beautiful," the 33-year-old told AFP.
In his hands, the twisted remnants have taken on a new life -- shell casings covered in golden motifs, tail fins turned into the feet of a vase, the dull metal disappearing under an explosion of painted flowers.
"When my children grow up I'll be able to show them these and tell them -- here are remains of the 2014 war that left over 2,000 people dead, and this is how I transformed an instrument of death into a vessel of life, making these bombs into flower vases," he said.
During the seven-week war which ended on August 26, the Israeli army fired countless missiles and tank shells at Gaza, and Hamas militants fired thousands of rockets and mortar shells at Israel.
Beauty from destruction
To his great surprise, Dabbus, who lives in Gaza's biggest refugee camp in Jabaliya and works in the honey business, found orders for his creations coming in.
To secure materials for his art, he went to see the police, who are controlled by the Islamist group Hamas -- the de facto rulers of Gaza.
"As dozens of people were asking me to decorate shells, the police gave me as many as I wanted, provided of course I only used them for my art," he said.
Enthused, he took home his first batch of 20 projectiles, among them rockets, mortar shells and missiles, while taking care how he handled them.
"I don't want people to think I'm running a weapons factory and have the Israelis bomb my house," he said.
Khder Abu Nada, 32, whose cleaning business was razed during the war, has ordered a vase.
"I like the idea of making something beautiful from these devices which kill us: I will take the vase home and regularly put roses in it," he promised.
"And may God bring us peace in Gaza."
Dabbus has big plans: as well as selling his creations -- he will not reveal the price -- he also wants to put them on show.
Other people are also finding ways to repurpose these deadly devices, but on a much smaller scale.
Irrepressible will to live
In Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, Mohammed al-Zamar's garden is strewn with shell cases and shrapnel which he recovered from his home after a bombing.
On one of the pieces he has written: "No to war, we've had enough." Next to it is a map of historical Palestine.
"This is my message," said Zamar.
"We love life, but the occupier (Israel) imposes death and destruction on us. I want to transform the Israeli war into an expression of the Palestinians' irrepressible will to live."
Inside his house, the 33-year-old waiter proudly shows off the rest of his creations: dozens of paintings, some adorned with casings from Israeli bullets or a key, the symbol of Palestinians forced to leave their homes in 1948 when Israel was established.
In the front of his house sits a large unexploded bomb dropped by an F-16 jet. Above it he has written out the names of all the children killed during the war, who according to the UN number around 500.
Zamar said the chemical which triggers the detonation head has been removed, but it could still be deadly.
"I don't let my sons, aged seven and three, get too close."
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
October 3, 2014
Major solo exhibition on Finnish Modernist Helene Schjerfbeck opens in Frankfurt
Art-historical projects spotlighted at Art Basel's new sector, Survey, in Miami Beach
Mathematician, engineer and collector, Inna Bazhenova is the new owner of The Art Newspaper
Christie's presents Jeff Koons' 'Balloon Monkey (Orange)' in prominent six-week outdoor exhibition
Seminal painting by Irma Stern expected to fetch millions at Strauss & Co
Fear of empty spaces: Group exhibition opens at Gagosian Gallery in Geneva
Queens Museum appoints Laura Raicovich as new President and Executive Director
Berkeley Art Museum's last major exhibition in its current building spotlights American Folk Art
Steidl to release English fashion and portrait photographer David Bailey's 'East End' in October
For artist Mohammed al-Zamar, remnants of seven-week war become art in Gaza
Ryoji Ikeda transforms Times Square into mathematical beauty through synchronized imagery of test pattern
Annie Kevans' first solo exhibition on the West Coast opens at Jenkins Johnson Gallery
40 guest artists invited to transform Paris into an open-air contemporary art museum during 13th Nuit Blanche
Exhibition at ROSEGALLERY features vintage and contemporary photographs and works on paper
Vintage works and rare contact sheets by Lucien Hervé on view at Michael Hoppen Gallery
Londoners divided on skyscraper boom
Film stars including Scorsese praise Iranian artist whose photograph goes on sale at Bonhams
The final installment of the Sam Snead collection powers Heritage Golf auction to $1.3M tally
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art opens Southwest Abstract Expressionism show
Exhibition at Kasher/Potamkin features works from over forty artists
MOCA Cleveland announces fall 2014 exhibitions
Zabludowicz Collection announces first UK solo exhibition by Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin
Baldwin's Numismatics move to 399 Strand
Omar Kholeif, Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London appointed Curator of Armory Focus initiative
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- TEFAF New York Fall 2018 opens to strong attendance and robust sales
2.- Michael Jackson's Bad jacket, Dylan's Fender Telecaster, U2's iconic guitars lead to Julien's Auctions sale
3.- 'Have you news of my boy?': Kipling's vain search for lost son
4.- Tate Britain opens the largest Edward Burne-Jones retrospective to be held in the UK
5.- Bartolomé Bermejo's visual universe shown in all its splendor for the very first time
6.- Thomas P. Campbell to lead the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
7.- Canadian doctors to start prescribing museum visits
8.- Exhibition in Leuven brings to life the grandiose world of the noble Arenberg family
9.- Walking Batman strolls across the auction block for a record $16,800 at Milestone's Premier Toy Auction
10.- Skeletons unearthed in giant United Kingdom train line excavation
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.