Syrian revolution began on March 15, 2011, since then, the extremely violent struggle has gradually transitioned from peaceful mass streets protests to armed scuffles in some parts of the country (Flood, 2012). The country’s refugee state has been exacerbated with many civilians opting to retreat to turkey in appreciable numbers, the situation in Syria country is still multiplex and the future looks uncertain. Among those who are most affected by this revolution are children who are suffering from towering hardships and trauma. To express the dissenting impacts of this revolution, I painted a boy who lost his family during this time. The revolution inspired me to paint because I was convinced that the heinous acts committed against innocent children, by depriving them the joy of being taken care of by their families, is egregious at all levels.
What sets my painting apart from other paintings is the mood that it creates. The first thing one notices when he/she looks at it is the sad and teary face of the young child. I painted the face with tears to foster a distinctly depressing and sad mood. I did not make a clear variance on whether the child is a boy or a girl. I did this to express the universality of human grief and the dissatisfaction with the status quo. I used the young child as a representative of everything that is wrong with the world. He/she resonates with a majority of children in the Syrian revolution who are living in an unhappy, somber and broken part of the world with no help but optimism that things will be okay and they will once be happy as they were. The word “happy” on the child’s cloth is symbolic of the fact that he/she was once actually happy but the sad war affairs have robbed him/her the opportunity to be happy again.
Every color I used in this painting is significant because it conjures up certain emotions and gives more meaning to the painting. The child’s face, hands and grapes are all gray. The gray color shade is closer to white. This creates an illuminating effect that shifts focus to the child’s face, hands and grapes. I ensured that the grayish effects were stock-still and dispassionate in order to create an unruffled and equanimity relief which resonates with the chaotic feeling caused by the tears of this innocent child. Even the grapes the child is holding, which are supposed to symbolize optimism, are gray. The message here is that being optimistic in this part of the world is perceived as an implausible idea. Since the colors are not warm, they do not appeal. Rather, they stifle and depress the energy that one may have, creating images of agony and desire for the world to be a better place.
It is widely known that gray creates feelings of sadness and depression and a disposition to loneliness and isolation. The invocation of these feelings helps the audience to empathize with the child’s situation, of being denied the right to be with his/her family. I used the color black on the child’s clothes and spots on his face as a symbol of the end. The color intensifies the depression and the mood of the child and at the same time creates a negative environment that expresses the reality of the revolution.
I personally feel that the regularity of the dreary colors, lines as well as insufficiency of colorful patterns create unity in this painting. The creation of this painting did not only focus on showing how sad the child was, but how gruesome, violent revolutions could be by including the entire composition. Overall, I believe that the painting is efficient in making people move out of the status quo and empathize with children, especially those in the Syrian revolution who are experiencing hardships.
Flood, D. H. (2012, 4 23). An Overview of Syria’s Armed Revolution. Retrieved 10 2015, from Combatting Terrorism Center