EXHIBITING AT THE FIRST EDITION OF ARTBAHRAIN
Artist Nasr Warour has been based in Dubai for the past 15 years and began his career in his homeland of Syria in 1986 with sculpture as his primary form of expression. Nasr’s large-scale sculptures show a unique interpretation of his nation’s culture and history, setting him apart from his contemporaries. It was when Nasr relocated to Dubai that he began painting in order to accommodate the interior walls of his small art studio. He began his experimentation of techniques and mediums in attempts to express his vision and philosophy of art. Nasr speaks with Durrah about what he aims to express through his art.
Durrah Magazine | Bahrain, February 2015.
What made you change from working with sculptures as your primary medium to painting?
I didn’t completely change, but I decided to discover both at the same time. Sculpture needs a space that I didn’t have because I was living in a city house, so as soon as I started painting, the sculpture was showing itself on the canvas.
How does your homeland Syria inspire your work?
I am a living piece of Syria like any stone, street, or animal. As an artist I was amazed all the time at the energy in the sun, the air, the water, and the ground. I can keep painting and working there for days and days with no sleep. Syria is an inspiring power for me and wakes up my mind.
What do you enjoy about living in Dubai? As an artist do you think it is an ideal place to reside?
Dubai is a big growing business city, where time runs fast, where the picture keeps changing, and where you have to keep your horse very healthy and satisfied. That image of motion is what I am enjoying, as I enjoy watching the people and the fast pace.
How would you describe the essence of your work, and what do you hope to communicate through it?
I find myself working mostly on the relation between human nature, the universe, places, and strokes and colours to let every part of the artwork do its duty and allow the eye to see and wake up the wonder in us. I hope that through my artworks every person will be inspired to take enough time to see, imagine, dream, hear, and think how he or she is a great creation, like any small thing in life, and enjoy the gifts. The human brain has the power and ability to process and get results. When we are born we have the ability to be anything, but with knowledge we can reach our gifts, so my artwork is calling to be seen as a gift.
How would you describe your creative process – from the conception of an idea to turning it into art?
My artwork is a building process that comes from a pictured idea prepared by sketching, and I leave it up to my feelings to do the final touches. The real artwork has a brain, a body, a shape, a name and a personality. It has a reason, it has a history, and it has a future. It is not an improvisation like the sketch.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations and how did they shape the artist you are today?
My inspirations are talking things, alive, shining things, or things that are waiting to show you a little blink of light and guide you somewhere. It could be a sound, an image, a smile, an artist or an animal. Words are also my biggest inspiration, and it can come from a child, a teacher, or from the wind. However, I rarely use words in my art, and if I do I make sure they have their own meaning and philosophy, which is not shaped by the mind-set. This is how I see myself growing, vertically and horizontally in my artworks as well as on the ground.
Can you tell us a bit more about your recent exhibition in Bahrain?
I exhibited my new released collection in ArtBahrain under the title of ‘Read out the Vortex’, as a very organised accident. The theme was about the spiral movement, carrying us, shaping us, washing us and taking us, within our own little vortexes. In this collection I used Japanese brushes with ink to keep the flow of writing the symbols, and to invite the eye to read and see, not just pass by.
What are your favorite colours and/or materials to work with and why?
When I talk about a favorite colour, I have to think first where it is placed, what shape it has, what texture, and what is the temperature around it. White is still challenging, calling and provoking me as first light, as first milk, as first salt, as first step in love. I use mostly oil colours on canvas, and acrylic, ink, charcoal or pencil sometimes. It all depends on the collection’s subject and needs.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or projects we should look out for?
This year ArtBahrain was the last exhibition I participated in. I have some exhibitions and events coming up next year and after in Italy, India, Beirut, Bahrain and UAE, but haven’t confirmed it at this time.