Odyssey of the People - Essay Example

Date:  2021-12-19 05:57:33
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The above painting is a masterpiece by a dedicated artist detailing the plight of his people amidst war, displacement, and political instability. Ismail Shammout painted this picture in 1980 to show the world the fragility of his nations political environment and its transition from better to worse. The artwork belongs to the Arabic culture as shown by the artifacts such as the hijab worn by the women, headscarves by the men, and a rifle symbolizing the long standing armed conflict in the Middle East. The work is a developed on a canvas as the medium. The painting depicts the Arabic calligraphy that reads from left to right. Similarly, the history in the artwork represents activities in different timelines from the left to the right of the 6-foot canvas. The artists inspiration came from the Palestines political history from the Nakba through the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and finally the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization (Kindermann and Asran, 2017).

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Visual elements in the Odyssey of the People include color, line, focus, shape, and form. These elements allow the artist to explain the details of his subject thoroughly in terms of history and sociopolitical setting. The forms in the artwork are human, superhuman, and inanimate objects. The human forms are both genders, with women predominating in the display. At the farthest right of the artwork is a superhuman form that appears to yell to a receiving crowd. At the far left is a representation of bliss in form of a white light that alludes to heaven. The focus of the artwork is a man holding a rifle as if to guard the people below. There are mixed colors in the film although white is the most conspicuous one. The lines in the painting are both curvy and straight. The straight lines, for instance, outline the rifle and the bars hoisted by the superhuman form. The curvy lines outline the human bodies as well as the skyline in the background.

War in Syria

The painting by Ismail Shamout touched on among other things the armed conflict that characterized Palestinian political landscape in the 1970s, the most significant being the Black September where Jordanian Forces went up in arms against the Palestine Liberation Organization. Since then, Palestine has engaged in other wars like the First and Second Intifadas. Like Palestine, Syria has also had its fair share of armed conflict that has devastated the country both recently and in the past. My picture is drawn on a plain paper using a pencil to depict the bombings of buildings that occur from sunrise to sunset. I drew my inspiration from Shamouts Odyssey of the People since the artwork focuses on war and terror as the center stage in the Middle Eastern politics. The Syrian populations are constantly under heavy shelling that makes them refugees in Europe and the neighboring countries like Jordan. The people, children and their parents, are caught up in the conflict between regimes fighting for power and influence. They also find themselves on the receiving end of the furry by blood thirsty terrorist fighting over the control of resources. Both my drawing and Shamouts painting are addressing the plight of the people. It, therefore, means that the daily occurrences and challenges define a creative process like developing art and music. I have also learnt from the artist and my drawing that a creative process stems from the immediate environment around the creator before delving into the world beyond.


Kindermann, A. and Asran, I. (2017, September). Odyssey of a People: Leading Christies Spring Auction Season in Dubai 15-19 March 2017. Christies.com. Retrieved from https://www.christies.com/about-us/press-archive/details?PressReleaseID=8580&amplid=1 on 28/3/2018

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