Two Artist, Two Cultures, Two Views

Exhibit by Thamir Dawood and Harriet Diamond

Runs June 20 - July 31
Reception, Wednesday, June 22, 5:00 p.m.
Gallery Talk: Thursday, June 23, 12:00 noon
West Gallery, Northampton Center for the Arts
17 New South Street, Northampton

Thamer Dawood Al Sudani was born in Baghdad in 1966, received a diploma in painting from the Fine Arts Institute of Baghdad in 1986, and his BA in painting from the College of Fine Arts in 2000. He is a member of the Plastic Artists Society and Iraqi Scribers Association. He has had solo and group exhibitions throughout the Middle East, in Japan, Sweden and the US. "When we dive into the world of the artist Thamer Dawood, the questions open up like eyes focusing on the respectable meanings embedded in his paintings, calligraphies and designs…. Tashkil Magazine, 2009 review of "Letter Brought to Life or Immersion in Meanings?

This artist is pursued by his past. He is converting his exile and his being as a human who lost his country to boundless, excellent shapes why h have no language or nationality. He is following his visual memories, fueled by his new life regardless of the country he moves to or lives in. He continuously goes through revisions of his situation as an artist.

Because he is a professional artist, it is natural for him to utilize his global language to revive a dialogue that opens for him ways that reveal his potential, subjects and style.

His works lie along a triad of history, nation and exile. A dialogue in which he looks for a moment that reflects a shape which does not exist anymore, and for an identity which he needs to perpetuate. This is why, we find in his art a reproduction of graphic productions like the ones generated four thousand years ago in Mesopotamia as prints carved in mud called "Circular stamps" which are loaded with cuneiform writings and secret magical signs.

Harriet Diamond received her MFA in Sculpture from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985,

Over the last ten years my work, what I call mini-installation, chronicles and comments on the events of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Overtime we become inured to war and it needs to be front and center in our political dialogue. Working in the vein of the political expressionists, my work attempts to reawaken our sympathies for war’s victims, to expose the hypocrisies of war’s protagonists, and to illuminate the moral struggle that we are in. Lastly it tries to encourage us in protest.

Since my work is all about telling a story and engaging the audience, it has to keep a sense of immediacy and urgency. I use simple materials worked in simple ways. I combine elements of relief and full sculpture to draw the viewer into an event. The sculptures are predominantly constructed from painted wood, ceramic and styrofoam. I use drawing, painting and sculpture simultaneously. I use caricature, albeit a very gentle form of it, and narrative to tell the story. I use repetition of form as the underlying drumbeat that drives home the grave and relentless nature of the message.

In the last years I have shown my large and small pieces at a number of venues. Recently I have shown bronze pieces at Brookgreen Garden in South Carolina, and the National Sculpture Society and National Arts Club in New York City. I have installed one of my lifesize scenes in the main lobby of the Norfolk International Airport. I have been invited to install work in Massachusetts at the Fitchburg Museum, the Pittsfield Museum, and the Springfield Museum, and at Chesterwood, the National Trust in Great Barrington. In New York State and at the Albany Museum.