The Mosaic Rooms is pleased to host Equinox, From Beirut to London, the first UK solo exhibition by Syrian Kurdish artist Lawand. The exhibition features new paintings and drawings by the artist recently made during a prolonged stay in Beirut, Lebanon, as well as an exciting new publication produced in collaboration with award-winning poet Pascale Petit created especially for the exhibition.
Born in Aleppo (Syria) in 1984, Lawand came to France with his family when he was ten. Now internationally recognised as a painter and sculptor with a deep interest in poetry, he has exhibited widely throughout Europe, showing works recently in France, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland, as well as in Syria (2007) and Egypt (2006). He has also created art books with renowned poets including the great Syrian poet Adonis, winner of the 2012 Goethe Prize, and a number of French and Italian poets.
Lawand’s work is “engaged but non-political” as he himself states, and the themes he covers are universal rather than rooted to a single cause - though he does of course reflect on the suffering of the people of Syria. Both his paintings and drawings are dominated by elongated effigies with faceless heads hanging or hiding in their hands, indistinct from the formless backgrounds they float in, appearing motionless and displaced, or indeed without place, often solitary or with a child. Yet the artist describes his work as essentially “optimistic” and life-affirming, stating:
“I am not a painter of loneliness, even though my paintings are so little populated. I see in each and every one of my characters the entire human race. My characters often seem to be moving slowly and sluggishly but they are headed towards the endless path of light... so that my paintings express a desire to live!” - Lawand, 2013.
In addition to the exhibition The Mosaic Rooms will be hosting two related events: Poetry from Art: Writing the Body, a poetry workshop led by Pascale Petit where participants will be given exercises to develop poetic responses to contemporary art using the current exhibition as inspiration, and Art & Poetry an artist’s talk with Lawand and Pascale Petit.