Assel El-Rayes | Inner peace reflections: Peace be upon you السلام عليكم

2016-02-09 10.13.59

The exhibition will take place from February 17 to March 2 with a vernissage to be held on February 18, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


This body of work was done while I was fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, listening to

the Holy Quran recitation and Islamic music, inviting inner peace and reflecting it on the canvas

to share it with you, and living in a world that is losing its peace. I found myself in many

awkward situations being who I am; Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian from Gaza city (originally),

yet Canadian for the last 20 years. Respecting my roots and who I am today, I would love to

invite you into my Peaceful Zone.

While painting these narrative abstract paintings I was in a high spiritual state, which had a

direct effect on the imagery that was created; which have some sort of surrealism in it, and on

the choice of colors, that were based on a mixture of feelings:  warmth, serenity, acceptance

and hopefulness. I used some elements to express my thoughts and feelings, such as

anthropomorphic symbols and archaeological forms that suggest places and spaces in time.

It all started when my brother gave me a journal with blank pages as a gift. Being unable to

paint during this period of time due to a lung problem made me use the blank pages of that

journal as my space to express myself using black ink pen.  My journal is called “Thoughts

without Words”; year after year my journal became my best friend. After recovering from my

lung collapse, I decided to go back to painting with colors, expressing my thoughts and feelings

freely on the canvas. Using acrylics as a new medium challenged me to adapt to it, which was

part of the whole process. Reaching this state of spirituality, self-discipline and self-control, I

was able to invite inner peace within and I am hoping that (Peace, Pace, Paix, Salam سلام,

Shalom שלום, мир, ειρήνη) will be upon the whole world!

With love,

Assel El-Rayes