January 1, 2010
Newly–arrived Iraqi refugee Hashim Hannoon debuts as gallery artist at Mayberry Fine Art on February 27, 2010.
Newly–arrived Iraqi refugee Hashim Hannoon debuts as gallery artist at Mayberry Fine Art on February 27
Renowned in his homeland and in Jordan, soft-spoken artist’s newest works reflect his bright hopes and dreams for new life in Canada, and for Winnipeg Itself
From February 27- March 13, abstract expressionist Hashim Hannoon’s large-scale, landscapes of his newly adopted city of Winnipeg will be featured for the first time by Mayberry Fine Art.
Six of his most recent works (30”x30”) – priced at $2,675 -- will be on display at the Exchange District gallery along with paintings by four other new gallery artists – Toronto-based Mandy Budan and Celia Neubauer, Nikol Haskova, of Vancouver, and Winnipegger Terry Watkinson.
In all, some 30 works, ranging in price from $350 to $9,000, will be shown. The exhibition can be viewed online at www.mayberryfineart.com
Public Reception to Launch “5 New Artists” Show
Where: Mayberry Fine Art, 212 McDermot in the Exchange District
When: Sat., February 27 from 11am to 5pm. All welcome.
Who: Works by Hannoon, Budan, Neubauer, Haskova, Watkinson (Hannoon and Watkinson in attendance)
What else: Show continues to March 13.
Gallery Hours: Tues-Thurs. 10-6. Fri. and Sat. 10-5.
Hashim Hannoon – to Winnipeg from Iraq via Jordan in search of peace and the realization of dreams!
“My art is like music. When you listen, the harmony in the music is like colours in my work. Colour reflects my dreams for people to live in peace… Canada is a good country for art and for artists.” – Hashim Hannoon
Hannoon, born in 1957, grew up in Basrah in southern Iraq in a family of 12 children
He graduated from Institute of Fine Art in Baghdad and became an accomplished artist with works held in both public institutions and private collections
His career as an artist and art teacher for children was interrupted by the Iran- Iraq war (1980-88), during which time he served as a soldier on the front lines of battle for six years. Two of his brothers, also conscripted into the army, were killed in the line of duty
During those six long years, Hannoon neither painted nor read nor wrote. The sole activities for a soldier in northern Iraq, he said, were keeping warm and killing
After the war, and with the ensuing Persian Gulf War (1990-91), Hannoon’s paintings from this period reflect the gloom and calamity of war. Surrounded by widows and orphans in his homeland, he was unable to escape the feeling of death
Some five years later, he returned to the Baghdad university to study sculpture
In the late 1990s, his work began to take on a brighter aura, reflecting the innocence of children and their dreams of peace and a better life; still the bright colours hid the deep pain the children felt due to war and hunger
Doves, a symbol of peace, are often depicted in his paintings
Hannoon fled Iraq for Amman, Jordan, with his wife and two young children in 1998. One million other Iraqis did the same, although Hannoon’s siblings and parents remained in their homeland.
In Jordan, he enjoyed success as an artist, his work featured in several exhibitions there and in Saudi Arabia. Over the years, his work has been exhibited in many countries including Turkey, Kuwait, Yemen, Italy, and Egypt
Unable to live in Jordan indefinitely, however, and hoping to provide a brighter future for his children, Hannoon applied to the United Nations as an “artistic refugee” asking to come to Canada. He and his family arrived on a frigid December day in 2008
Hannoon’s goal is to make his work famous in Canada and to work for the future of his children and others to live in peace
He continues to study English at school each day and is now able to communicate his hopes and dreams to others in the predominant language of his adopted city
Hannoon’s son, 18, will graduate from high school and begin university studies this year. His daughter, 15, is the top student in her class. His wife is looking for work. The three of them speak English well thanks to their earlier studies of the language
While the family still needs time to adjust to Winnipeg winter weather, Hannoon says the friendly people, the reasonable cost of living and liveability of the city, as well as “the many colours of summer” make up for that
Hannoon intends to stay in Winnipeg and is thankful for the opportunity his association with Mayberry Fine Art presents.
“They help new artists. They give me a chance. They are good people at Mayberry. I went there because I looked at several galleries and they (Mayberry Fine Art) show the work of the best artists from across Canada.” – Hashim Hannoon.
Mayberrys Intrigued by Freshness, Quality of Immigrant Artist’s Work
A year ago, Hannoon arrived unannounced at Mayberry Fine Art, paintings under his arm and holding a copy of a high-quality art book in his hand – a retrospective of his body of work published in Jordan
He spoke almost no English, having arrived in Canada only a few months before
Although the gallery rarely takes on an artist completely un-established in Canada, the Mayberrys recognized the absolute uniqueness and quality of the charming artist’s work
With its middle-eastern feel, Hannoon’s work is without parallel in Canada
In short order, gallery clients snapped up three of Hannoon’s paintings
In addition to being shown during the “5 New Artists” exhibition, Hannoon’s works will also light up the display space at Mayberry Fine Art’s satellite gallery in Winnipeg Square throughout the month of August, 2010.