Born in Sweida, Syria (1991)
Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Yara Said graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University, Syria, in 2014. Shortly after graduating, she left Syria on a journey that for almost a year led her through several countries and refugee camps before arriving in Amsterdam.
In finding her way in Amsterdam, she also found freedom, and a newly found focus on her art.
Said’s art is not confined to one discipline. She creates paintings, collages, as well as conceptual art. The work is very personal and expressionist, yet at the same time has a strong purpose to communicate with the beholder; to tell a story bigger than herself and more universal.
In 2016 Said designed the flag for the Olympic Refugee Team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. A powerful design, the flag was based on the colors of the life jackets worn by refugees when crossing the sea. The flag is now part of several international museum collections, e.g. The Victoria & Albert museum in Londen and the MoMa in New York.
She currently gives workshops in The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, participates in several exhibitions worldwide and has devoted her efforts to set up an art residence for artists with a refugee background, together with the Refugee Company.
The first spark for the kind of expression that I love –painting– ignited in me in 2011, a year that was a turning point for many people. This was the beginning of the war in Syria.
My initial motivation was to understand human nature and the flow of thoughts and emotions of people. However, as the war continued to spread chaos, I realized that the case was far more complex than I thought. It was not a local problem, but a much deeper problem, which let me get acquainted with the “Human Condition”.
It was a shock to me (as a nineteen-year-old girl) to discover that human beings can be so primitive. It opened my eyes, and I now care much more to acquire more knowledge about politics, psychology, sociology and theology in order to deepen the understanding of my role as a Syrian artist.
Also, I would like to clarify how time affects people and the surrounding materials, be this material a painting, a sculpture, video art or a human being.
Keeping in mind the relationship of forms within space, sometimes light, sometimes heavy, this broad concept was and still is the main concern in my artistic research that I try to reflect in all my work.
I guess we can name it an attempt to manifest the ideas I had acquired during these years outside and inside of my faculty of Fine Arts, and to materialize them.
I use acrylic paint, collage art, charcoal, ink and all other possible techniques at my disposal.https://mag.citizensofhumanity.com/blog/2017/02/24/yara-said-artist-exile/