Raed Issa

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Bereavement

In recent months we have been witnesses to tragedies beyond belief … strangely enough though, what drew my attention most were the faces of martyrs, especially those skulls had been crushed. Now transformed from a familiar into a horrific sight, the exact details of these destroyed heads were too much to take in … at the same time, the shock would blunt the image of these heads into familiar objects, as if they were watermelons on a table …

With the sight of these heads imprinted in my mind, I set realize my art project. These heads represented the very image of bereavement. The memory of the martyrs heads eventually led me to recall the Fest of Sacrifice ( `id al-Adha) and its scenes of animal slaughter and skinning in preparation for this communal occasion. Through my works, I attempted to capture the link I imagined between martyrdom and the rituals performed in preparation for the Feast of Sacrifice …

In the execution of my work, I used either pencil or charcoal to draw my subject and tinted some of the sketches with watercolor washes. This method was used in order to preserve the immediacy of my first impression. By presenting the project in the form of a series of 99 sketches, I wished to denote the sanctity of my subject matter, after all, it is believed that Divine Names of God are 99.