my favourite colour
Yet how thoroughly it has dyed my heart
People have been using the medium of art to represent and explore their spiritual connection with their world, for over 35,000 years. The earliest cave art speaks to us. We sense the human continuum of which we are all part. We can almost touch the moment, millennia ago, when a man or woman’s experience, thought, emotion and imagination converged, to produce art.
Like poetry, visual art (whether ancient, classic or contemporary) can hold who and what we are, our inner world, our identity, for centuries to come.
Adel Almawery is a Yemeni visual artist whose art is inextricably woven with the deepest love for the country that is his physical and spiritual home.
”I have always loved art. Since I was a child. Seeing the Yemeni landscape, the vernacular architecture of the villages reminds me of my roots. I come from a village called like my last name, Mawery. You might have never heard of it, but I carry it with me, in letters and in heartbeats.”
“When I moved to the capital, Sanaa, I understood immediately that what I felt was the soul of the city. Nothing was static to my eyes. I saw the houses move, like the people. It was the city’s soul pulsing. I still have this feeling after so many years and this is why in my paintings the houses seem to bend and there are no linear shapes. Life and soul transpire. Theirs is the eternal dance commenced 3000 years ago when our capital was first inhabited. I cannot express it differently. Sanaa is my soul, it embodies the warmth of our universe.”
“From all of my travels in India, Morocco, Russia, throughout Europe and Asia, I absorbed the world’s colours. They live in me, and I brought them home, in my art. I play with colours, I dance with them, always. They speak to each other, and to me.”
”But as I have grown older, I have come to realize that the place in which my family lives, my heart beats, my spirit sings, the ancient city of Sanaa, my Yemen, is still my favourite colour.”
“Our life comes with an expiry date and even if some are luckier than others, it is temporary. It is only when you live at a human pace, in a simple dimension that you appreciate life as it comes, with its burdens and delights, and are ready – eventually – to move on.”
What will remain of us, once we have moved on, is our love. Whether that be in a love letter or poem, a score of music, a photograph, or the brush stroke arches and domes of an ancient Middle Eastern city. What remains of us, always, is love, in all of its colours.