The Canvas | Osman Ahmed
20 April 2013
Osman Ahmed was born in 1962 and went to the Institute of Art in Kurdistan Iraq, where he graduated in 1985 - he lived and taught arts. In March 1988 he witnessed the Anfal (Kurdish Genocide) and managed to escape and move to Britain. There he has been painting/exhibiting his works on the Anfal and studying/researching how to document the genocide through drawing. His PhD project, documenting the Kurdish Genocide 1988, is concerned with the victims of the attacks in Kurdistan of Iraq.
What is your earliest artistic memory?
My first artistic memories goes back to 1976 where I was a teenager growing up amid a politically charged environment where the government was putting pressure on my nation to erase all symbols of nationalism and the Kurds were resisting this, a tense situation like that produced a changeling task for me to tell the story and grief of my nation through my art.
Has your art or approach/method changed over the years and if so, how?
At the beginning my work was more expressionist but over the years and with more practice and influenced by academic study I found that I need a better way to communicate through my art by using a simpler but more expressive language, more symbolic in expression.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from my own people, a nation full history and horrors of mass execution and discrimination by dictators, one after the other. The Kurds in the last 30 years under tyranny of Sadam we have suffered the most.
What is your biggest ambition as an artist?
My biggest ambition as an artist is to document the Kurdish Genocide (Anfal) and bring to the eye of the world the crimes and atrocities that have been perpetrated upon my nation (Kurds) in order for the humanity ot learn a lesson and to prevent such a crime from happening again anywhere in the world.
If you could own any piece of artwork, what would it be and why?
One of Claude Monet’s work because I could see nature’s remarkable beauty in it.
If you could receive coaching/training from any artist (past or present) who would it be?
What is your most prized possession?
My people’s appreciation of my Art
If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I would like to be in Florence during the renaissance
What do you consider the greatest invention of all time?
Maybe TV, cell phone and computer" electric will be one as they all don’t work without it!
If you had the power to change something what would that be and why?
I would bring justice to everyone
What is your favourite place?
Can you tell us the title/author of the last book you have read?
The Pen is the Sister of the Brush by Maria Lassnig: - Diaries 1943-1997
What would you scribble on a wall of world’s greatest quotes?
To the parents: teach your kids the language of Art
What are you most afraid of?
I have a fear of something disastrous can happen like a world without colours
What life lesson do you always stand by?
Believing my self
If you had to give art students today some advice, what would it be?
Don’t give up, practice and always live for the hope
Where on the web can we find you?
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