Painting peace and love over the smoke of war
Saba Jallas is a Yemeni artist most known for her work transforming images of smoke from airstrikes and bombings into images of hope. Other drawings show people in traditional clothes in peaceful settings, and destroyed schools that have been repaired.
Characterised by featuring positive images of women and children, she seeks to display her ‘absolute optimism’ despite living through war and suffering the loss of her brother, and to save herself from ‘negative feelings and overwhelming thoughts.’
Jallas was inspired by Palestinian artists – Tawfik Gebreel, Bushra Shanan, Belal Khaled who turned pictures of bombings in Gaza into messages of resistance.
She says: ‘For the world, I want to tell them that Yemen doesn’t need weapons. We need peace. Look at the human catastrophes. When we lifted our weapons and threw out beauty and art, this was the result.’
We will be exhibiting and selling a stunning piece, pictured below, by Saba Jallas at Art the Arms Fair 2019. We share a message from her below – in the original Arabic and translated into English.
أنا سبأ جلاس يمنية عمري ٣٤ عام أرسم للحب والسلام والأمل رسمت على دخان الحرب في بلدي رسائل سلام وحب ولاقت أعمالي استحسان الكثير في أنحاء العالم ومنذ عامين تقريباً بدأت الرسم بالالوان الزيتية أحاول نشر رسائل سلام ومحبة لأنها أكثر ما ينقص البشر لكي نعيش سعداء ولكي يرى العالم ما نعانيه بسبب الحرب وعملياً قمت ببيع ست من لوحاتي في مزادات خيرية في صفحتي في الفيس بوك لمساعدة المحتاجين في بلدي .
“My name is Saba Jallas. I am a 34 year old Yemeni woman. I draw for love, peace and hope.
I paint messages of peace and love over the smoke of war in my country.
My artwork has attracted much acclaim around the world.
About two years ago, I started painting using oil colours.
I am trying to spread messages of peace and love as those are the things people lack most, preventing them from living happily.
I do this to show the world what we are suffering because of the war.
I have also sold my paintings in charity auctions on my Facebook page in order to help those in need in my country.”