"Blue" Karam Atrache exhibition



Piece By Piece

Karam Atrache exhibition at Köztér 18

'Blue' opening speech : Neil Wolstenholme 7th October 2021

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
Welcome to this momentous occasion.

The penultimate exhibition of our 2021 program. 
The 6th Birthday of our Gallery ‘The Garage’.
And most importantly the first exhibition of Karam Atrache in Hungary.

I thought I would start with a joke.

-Did you hear about the manically depressed Syrian dwarf.
(Monty python would have loved this material to work with)

-He didn't get the job as lightbulb changer in the local synagogue.

Joking aside, welcome Karam.

Karam and I both share mental health issues, we,ve been, mentally probed
and prodded, diagnosed, labeled and boxed.

I can relate to and admire the strength and guts he gave in the production of these pieces of art.
My twilight understanding of what he must have gone through leaves me in complete awe.

During the solitude of the Corvid lockdown far away from friends family and in-person support. Karam worked through, with his own self therapy and truly broke out of the boxes surrounding him. The fruit of this period is on show today.

He worked with unabashed honesty, stripping his soul to the naked core.

And the work itself truly artistic, extolling bittersweet beauty whilst invoking a spectrum of emotions in the viewer.

I ask you to throw away the boxes I have introduced 
Syrian Box
Dwarf Box
Mental health Box
Corvid lock down Box

And any other Boxes you carry

Allowing yourself to view the works in the raw way they were conceived.

Now please put your hands on your heart

Say “I am an individual free spirit”

And say “I do not repeat what other people say or do”

I wish to conclude with the words from a fellow Kahlil Gibran

And a woman spoke, saying, Tell us of Pain.
And he said:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.