On Sunday and Monday this week Street Artist Pang has created one of the most powerful and emotive pieces of Street Art we at London Calling Blog have yet to encounter. The mural was created on behalf of the Red Cross setting to raise awareness for The Long Road EP, a concept album highlighting the plight of refugees. The album is inspired by the real-life stories of refugees and asylum seekers as well as featuring recordings by internationally acclaimed artists as well as refugees from around the world, with funds raised by the album set to support the British Red Cross Refugee Services. The British Red Cross works with those people vulnerable in crisis, whoever and wherever they are,.setting to provide practical and emotional support to refugees, asylum seekers and victims of persecution, both in the UK and abroad. For more information on the invaluable work the British Red Cross does visit www.redcross.org.uk
Pang’s striking portrait work in her distinctive classical grey-scale styling certainly makes for a superb choice of artist to bring this story to life. The mural features a portrait of Ayman Hirh, a Syrian from Damascus who was forced to leave Syria due to the war in 2012. Ayman along with his wife and twin boys claimed asylum in the UK and was supported by the British Red Cross. As well as being the focal point for Pang’s powerful portrait work Ayman also participated in the artwork by hand writing an account of his life story and journey to the UK around the central image.
This really is one of the most powerful artworks we have seen, with a superb realistic portrait in a very classical tradition, made all the more poignant to see the additions from Ayman, with just a glimpse into his and his families story, offering a snapshot into his feeling of loss and yearning for the place he foremost considered his home, for his gratitude in being granted asylum and safety for his family, and how this in turn creates a dichotomy of feeling a sense of dismay and sadness for all those poor children still suffering largely unimaginable hardships in his devastated homeland.
Additionally the placing of this mural in the little alleyway that is Hawley Mews provides a very apt comparison to the situation of refugees from Syria at current. With this work tucked away from the main high street which runs parallel just around the corner to the mural, provoking a sense of how the plight of so many unfortunate people affected by the brutal reality of life in war torn places such as Syria is pushed away from peoples minds and everyday concerns. Like the situation for countless refugees, this mural is placed out of sight and out of mind, with people choosing not to face up to the reality of what is happening to such people everyday around the world.
This work was put up with support from The Real Art of Street Art.
Pang at work finalising the portrait dynamic of this mural.
Pang’s reference sketch.
The powerful finished portrait.
Pang at work on the stark and powerful statement that encapsulates the whole essence of her subject.
Pang at work.
Ayman adding his own story to the portrait from Pang, accompanied by his two sons.
Ayman standing next to the finished work, what a striking resemblance to Pang’s brilliant portrait.
Ayman and his two children standing next to the finished work.
The striking and powerful piece completed by Pang and Ayman.
“I was a successful business man selling marble and granite across Syria and living with my wife and two sons in the Jobar district of Syria’s capital Damascus. Every night before we got to sleep, we remember our home. I love my flat in Damascus more than Buckingham Palace. When I look at my children and see that they are happy and living a normal life. I think immediately of all the children still in Syria.”