Promoting the Work of the Late Ausama al Khalil – by John and Margaret Hinman
We are owners of the Art portfolio, (some thirty six paintings), of the late Ausama al Khalil, who died in December 2016, at the age of 49.
Ausama al Khalil was an Iraqi artist who lived in Middlesbrough. He obtained a degree in fine art and interior design from the Department of Interior Design, Baghdad University. His real joy was painting and drawing. He held exhibitions of his work throughout Iraq and Jordan. Such was his reputation that he was asked to work for Saddam Hussein He worked in a number of mediums, creating abstract and modern realist pieces. Ausama lived through many wars, and had experienced and witnessed much brutality. The colours of war are starkly present in his work.
As a victim of torture, both knees were broken, and other injuries, which left Ausama with disability and pain. I first met Ausama when he was recovering in James Cook Hospital from his ordeal. Ausama had read about my project to help Baghdad Central Hospital for Children and asked his medical staff to contact me. Margaret and I had been friends of Ausama for over twelve years. He bequeathed his entire collection to us.
Throughout his journey from Baghdad to England, he carried with him memories of the cities and towns he experienced, contrasting in his work war and peace, and skies filled with the colours of the Middle East. His later work increasingly explored the light, colours, and textures of his new home and the differences between the rhythm of the East and West. Ausama would often say that his “paintings are about my life, the struggles but also about the very good childhood memories.”
We believe his collection offers a unique perspective on the trials and tribulations of refugees and asylum seekers, escaping from war and civil unrest. The work also explores the journey between cultures and continents; of denial of rights, adjustment and assimilation. Ausama was a victim of torture and made strenuous efforts to reclaim dignity and respect through his art. The work is therefore a record of the common and all too frequent displacement we are witnessing in the 21st Century. We therefore admire all you are doing to support the vulnerable in your cities and towns.
Please contact John and Margaret Hinman if you are interested in planning an exhibition or know of a suitable gallery. We can deliver and collect the paintings. The contact details are: 01642 700075 or email, [email protected].com Thank you.