Suad Al-Attar is an artist who does not stand still; she is constantly pushing the boundaries, exploring the hidden depths of her imagination, her emotions and feelings. On viewing her paintings, one is left stunned by the timeless quality of the work. Arabian literature, ancient sculptures and frescoes, Sumarian legends, early Mesopotamian poetry and the powerful symbolic forms of Assyrian reliefs that influenced her earliest painting, still provide renewed creative stimulation. Her work evokes the incalculable mystery of dream scenery and, like dreams, they raise questions that intrigue the viewer. One enters a magical world, as if ascending to another level of reality – to a land of dreams.
Here we find a world of romanticism where couples play the game of love and where wisdom is symbolised in the beauty of the human headed bird. We become embraced by the unique visions of Suad Al-Attar, where sensuality and suffering are painted on faces attached to amorphous colours, or to the bodies of animals, and where imaginary cities blend into abstraction. It is here, on these canvases, that Suad’s observations of life and its miseries, joys and passions are expressed.
Suad Al-Attar once said, “bodies are not the point of my work. It is about the suffering and strength of women”. The women in her paintings are powerful and beautiful. They are however, as she puts it “tormented by unknown forces”. Suad says that she values, more than anything, the importance of the inner spirit. After all, it is this strength and ‘inner spirit’ that defines the artist herself.
The Golden Rooster, 2006, oil on canvas
layout and design by Don Schwager