Artist: Zehra Dogan


Year: 2018

Dimension: 136 x 70 cm approx

Technique: Natural pigments on fabric

Price: TBC

About the Artist

“Zehra Doğan (born 1989) is a Kurdish artist and journalist from Diyarbakir, Turkey. She is a founder and the editor of Jinha, a feminist Kurdish news agency with an all female staff.[1] She was jailed by the Turkish government for a painting of the destruction of the city of Nusaybin in 2017. Her imprisonment has prompted international outcry, including a 2018 mural by street artist Banksy in New York.”

Text taken from Wikipedia

What does this work say (to me)?

When I looked at this artwork it touched me as I saw on those women, apparently dressing in a religious led way, desperation, pain but as well camaraderie and solidarity.

It was not possible not to make associations with the Guernica by Picasso where the women painted look at the sky in desolation and claiming heavenly explanation and help as the tragedy develops; they and their sons victims of war.

The appeal of this painting is not just for the associations it brings and the emotions it awakes. The way the different resources were used and combined made of it a complete piece for me:

The graphic quality of the painting in the use of the line made possible to concentrate the intensity of the situation in the way their mouths and eyes were drawn.

The symmetric composition and the creation of perspective thanks to the careful arrangement of the bodies increase the effect.

The fabric on which it is painted looks worn and old, its color a resemblance of gold, give to the work a sort of reverential feel which combined with the limited color palette somehow makes it look like an Icon.

Around the fabric a trimming has been sown, a trimming that speaks of feminity, vulnerability and home. This addition to the work acts powerfully to convey that whatever drama is being experienced by those women it is an event that is close to their homes, shaping them, creating a bitter reality that they cannot escape from.

It seems that whatever situation they are facing it is too overwhelming to deal with it in a rational manner, being the way of finding endurance not looking for explanation or hope in their human counterparts but in the sky as if somewhere up there somebody that is seeing everything can make sense of what is happening.

In what Room to place it?

The beautifully arranged composition and colors act as counterbalance to the intensity of the theme which for me makes possible to place this piece in any room of the house.

Displaying it

Due the irregular shape of part of the painting and the presence of the trimming I would suggest to treat this work as a textile which means mounted on a base, be careful not to expose it directly to sun light and probably even frame it using glass. All decisions related to the preservation of the piece and for keeping the integrity of its creation.