My Life Experiences, and The Objects and Material I Use to Create Art:

When I Touch A Hard Surface, I Sense My Body’s Worth

I was born in a busy residential quarter at the center of the Kurdish city of Zakho. As a child, everything seemed exaggerated, extended, and out of proportions. The eyes appeared to be enormous and see beyond any horizon. The hands and arms were massive, long and reaching everything within sight. I sensed a total linkage between objects, material possessions and living bodies as one and indivisible.

There it was, the flexible and expandable living creatures joined with rigid objects containing sheets of metal, cardboards, clothing, furnishings and other material essential to survival from the ferocious autumn storms, winter freezes, and summer heat.

In that city quarter and in the midst of poverty and deprivation I realized that human bodies, objects, and material possessions are all of identical value; and over two decades of my stay there I saw nothing that was either excessive or nonessential.

As someone who lived this tragic and at time joyous reality, I felt that my mind and senses were filled with thoughts and visions that can be expressed with pen and art instruments. Later, as I traveled to new places and lived in numerous towns and cities I realized that the linkage between objects, surfaces, material possessions and humans exist everywhere. Furthermore, this coexistence has had its roots throughout the history. In fact, this linkage has piled up, expanded, intertwined, and solidifies further over time.

I recall from my childhood days all the things I have played with and became part of in my surrounding. As such, I now sense my worth and existence every time I touch those solid objects and surfaces. From these objects of my childhood, that still remain part of me, I now create pieces of art on various platforms. These art creations express the old and new collections of thoughts and material. These collections are not about to vanish, and indeed will remain as long as the reality of war, poverty, deprivation, and existence remains.

Awni Sami