This is not an ordinary sea; this is a shoreless sea. Here swimming doesn’t end and drowning is possible as well as separation from the loved ones. Waves rise and clash fiercely, helicopters pass over boats and refugees flee from bloody wars. Stolen intimate moments amid an atmosphere full of panic and hope is still possible.
In his latest series of abstract beach art, Shoreless Sea, Tayseer Barakat’s works manifest as an account on refugees’ desperate journeys to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in search for a normal life. For Barakat, the Mediterranean was part of his life; he himself is a refugee who lived near the shores of Gaza as a child and by the shores of Alexandria as an undergraduate student. Yet, the Sea became colder since then. It also became merciless and its appetite grew stronger. Suddenly, it hid its beaches, leaving people on board to wander in desperate search of ways to escape.
The drawing technique Barakat uses creates a real feeling of moving waves, turbulent water and an alive sea. Looking closely, one could imagine Poseidon, the Greek god of the Sea, steering sea-storms and creating enormous waves across the surface. One can even feel him breathing from under the waters through the lungs of hundreds of refugees who lost their lives drowning in the depths.
A boat throws those on board in the sea, souls flying in the skies, rescue missions, a mother holding her children tightly, two lovers, border patrols, a helicopter flying overheads … heroic journeys culminate in a line of detained refugees walking to an unknown destination… one can also imagine what looks like ceremonial rituals with the participation of the few who managed to pass all the obstacles on the way.
Abstract Beach Art, Gaza Beach by Tayseer Barakat. Art Print available in Large and Original Dimensions.