Wood Mosaic Artworks Exhibition in Lattakia Embodies Historical Syrian Symbols

Within the framework of the Culture Ministry ’s festivity  “My Land is Gold”,  the culture Directorate in Lattakia in cooperation with the Team for  Building  Life Skills  hosted the wood mosaic exhibition by  Researcher and Artist Raouf Bitar at Dar Al-Assad for culture in the province.

Wood is a masterpiece created by nature : unique colors, harmonious texture and a sweet scent.  60 wood mosaic artworks showcased  embodied  the symbols of civilizations and  heroes of the most famous epics in our region throughout history including Gilgamesh, the god Baal, the gods Ishtar and the Ugaritic mother to Nebuchadnezzar, the Queen of Europe, Sargon of Akkad , Apollodore de Damas   and Queen Zenobia. These artworks recall the greatness of the region’s heritage in addition to their artistic and aesthetic value.

Syriatimes e-newspaper visited the exhibition and met the artist Raouf Bitar who said “ Art is love ,  peace and an expression  of  our inner world. Syria is the  cradle of art , beauty and creativity . Every one , who has got  a Syrian identity,  should feel that he is the greatest person on this land because  he is the son of the Syrian land which is famous for its strong and distinguished  deep-rooted  civilization, energy, fertility and collective unity spirit”.

“ Art  documents  the history of every homeland. Through my wood mosaic  artworks  I  was keen on highlighting the  greatness of this region’s  civilization  with the help of what researchers have documented in this field” he added.

Bittar pointed out that he  used immortal  historical quotes addressed to Syria and the world  more than five thousand years ago including  “You are a Syrian and Syria is the center of the earth” and another by the Syrian Seleucid king Antiochus III  “Oh, Syrian .. You are all and we are to build the homeland ... so where are you”.

According to the researcher Bitar ,  what he presents  stems from his duty and his role as a Syrian  the son of this land in transferring  the wills of the Syrians for thousands of years to highlight  the greatness of our country throughout history in the face of  anti-hostile schemes which  tried to sabotage it, loot its antiquities, destroy its museums and steal its documents to obliterate its civilization.

He underlined  that his  inspiration for  his  historical artworks comes from  existing original paintings  using the documents of archaeologists  such as the late historical researcher Dr. Wade’a  Bashour, who presented  a detailed explanation about the historical and civilizational background of each work.

Bittar  said “ I depend in my artworks  on the wood of this  land  which is rich in  different kinds of trees ,  colors and characteristics such as olives, lemons, almonds and berries so that they  can be dried, packaged and treated”.

He  pointed out that he had not received any  academic study of art, but he was attracted to  present  a distinguished  art combining wood mosaic, mechanical drawing  and energy science  after realizing  the splendor and beauty of the stone mosaic artworks  in Syria, choosing wood instead of stone despite the additional difficulty that this material needs in terms of finite precision and patience. 

Bitar, who has mastered this art for more than 15 years, has participated in many  local exhibitions and presented to the Latin Church in Lattakia a number of huge wood mosaic artworks . 

He is interested in turning metal mechanics into  wood mechanics through art. He is  currently  making  medical wood  tools based on energy science and used in therapies through general external massage stimulating the nerve endings.

Bitar displayed in his exhibition a summary of his studies in this  field to manufacture new models with the hope of achieving good results after being used by specialized doctors and therapists.

Interviewed by : Rawaa Ghanam

Photos by : Rawaa Ghanam