Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 cm. 2016.
The series of images here by Gabriella Cleuren draw our attention to the victims of recent or current conflicts, for example in Libya, Syria, Palestine, Chechnya, Ukraine. Some of these pictures focus us on how millions of genuine refugees – men women, children, the sick the elderly - are confronted with hostility in countries across Europe.
Some observers have drawn parallels with Goya’s ‘Disasters of War’ (you can see those here
). The similarities between these two series of works come from the deep empathy and moral clarity which enables the artists to choose these themes (from all possible themes) and portray these victims in their realities – realities which have been made or shaped by us or our governments over time and in multiple ways. These artists and their art works give voice to the victim’s side of the story. They do not try to ‘sit on the fence’ morally. They do not try to hide behind some form of conceptual art approach, as if that might allow them to claim some sort of ‘moral neutrality’ – it never can.