Exhibition: 13 March – 27 April
Preview: Friday 9 March, 6 – 8pm
The Long Journey is an exhibition of work by artist and designer Ausama al Khalil. It is organised as a touring memorial display, originally exhibited at MIMA, to raise awareness of the struggles faced by people seeking asylum.
Al Khalil, originally from Baghdad, Iraq, fled his country to escape persecution and torture after it became a warzone in the early 2000s. After seeking asylum in the UK in 2006, he settled in Middlesbrough. In 2016 he passed away.
Many of his paintings depict historic paintings of Baghdad as he remembers them from childhood, before the destructive Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. They operate as mementos of a lost homeland.
Al Khalil’s art speaks of displacement, stories of care and recovery from repression, and the role that creativity plays in therapy and reconciliation. It can be seen as a tool to address issues around human rights with respect to migration.
At HB we are interested in talking about the stories of where people come from and how this affects their sense of identity. Ausama’s personal story is one that we believe should be shared so that we may better understand the experience of those around us.