Palm-sized artifacts by Iraqi artist
SAKARYA - Anadolu AgencyIraqi miniature artist Ali Alamedy took refuge in Turkey due to the ongoing violence in his country. Inspired by the stories and novels he read during his childhood, Alamedy identically depicts locations he has never seen or visited in his miniatures. Alamedy actualizes his imagination of houses, fabrics and furniture in 19th century books through works of art small enough to fit into a hand.
Alamedy remarked that even though he received invitations from exhibitions in the United Kingdom and the United States, he could not attend such events due to his status as a refugee. In Turkey, on the other hand, Alamedy attended an exposition in Istanbul, praising Turkish people’s interest in art and the country’s mutual embodiment of eastern and western cultures. While Alamedy does not seek to live in a particular country, he wishes to live somewhere he can consider home.
“Our lives were in danger after Daesh began to invade Iraq. I came to Turkey in 2014 after sensing my life was in danger. I have been living in Sakarya since then. Turkey attracted me as it was the country welcoming the highest number of refugees, particularly the citizens of Iraq,” Alamedy recounted his story.
Alamedy noted he preferred reading stories and novels rather than playing with his friends during his childhood, which was his getaway from real life. Similarly, miniature art has been his escape from the sorrows of real life during his adulthood, and that’s why he never reflected Arab culture and his country in his work.
“To be honest, any work I would produce about Iraq would give me sorrow. The situation of Iraq has brought me sorrow for a long time, and I do miniatures to escape from this sorrow, from the reality. Even if I have to work where I sit for hours to produce the best locations, I do it, because it takes me out of the present time and brings me to another time frame. I hope to produce miniatures reflecting my culture. That will take the sorrow out of me and bring me joy,” he said.
The miniature artist also elucidated his outlook on his artwork and working procedure.
“I am trying to capture and reflect the spirit of the time that I depict. I have never visited the locations I have portrayed. The distinctness of the books I have read from the culture I lived in helped me engrave the scenes exactly in my memory. Although I have never visited the locations I have worked on, my desire to see them bolstered me to attain the outcomes I sought,” he said.
“I have never been in Paris, Cuba, New York or any other location; in fact, most of my work takes place in another time. Maybe that’s because of my relationship with the past since I want to live in a time other than the one we live in. Another time, where everything is truly valuable, where everything is remolded with love and honour...” Alamedy said.
Furthermore, Alamedy mentioned that making a miniature photography studio from the 1900s was the most difficult task he has ever undertaken, even the process of research took two months on its own.
“I researched how the photographers built studios and used sunlight in their photography in those years. In the meantime, I read numerous articles on the 1900s’ photography. On the other hand, this miniature photography studio became my best work because I lived in another time frame during the nine months I worked on it,” he said.