Welcome to The Corvus Art Center

Hello, my name is Lesley Roy, and I invite you to join me on what is certain to be a creative and transformative adventure into the world of fine art.  The newly completed Gallery, is a unique conceptual private venue, designed exclusively for... and as the permanent home to, much of the surviving collection of works by renowned artist and physician, Dr. Ala Bashir. 

This is more than just a visual story of one man’s extraordinary life, whose artwork digs deep into Iraq’s ancient conflict riven history, it is a journey from ancient Sumeria and Babylon to modern Baghdad a pivotal hub long referred to as the, “Cradle of Civilization.”  The Sumerians created the first recorded words in Cuneiform writing dating back 3,300 years and telling the first human story of, “Gilgamesh” an epic struggle for power where hate and revenge abound, proving that these illnesses are nothing new to mankind.  

While drawing on his modern experiences as a highly skilled physician and dealing with the pain of life and death on a daily basis as the Director General of the Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Baghdad, Dr. Bashir’s triage team of 350 repaired the broken bodies of 22,000 men, women and children during the Iran -Iraq war.  
How this man survived with only his art to purify his senses, aid in the healing process and release the pain of what he had witnessed, is in and of itself, a miracle.   

One exhibition, the “Agony of Memory” and another, “Human Dilemma” echo this visceral story as they traveled around the globe on solo exhibition.   Dr. Bashir explained, “Everyday hundreds of people came to the hospital...dying, and I have to introduce life into them again...my duty was to compete with death.”  

When several of his paintings of suppressed figures were brought to the attention of Saddam Hussein by his Secretary he was told to, “Leave Ala alone...he is free to paint what he likes...one day 200 years from now people will look back and understand his genius and see that he is simply recording the modern history of Iraq.”

For him though, it goes far beyond the borders of one country.  He views hate and revenge, lies, jealousy and betrayal as a disease of humanity, which is wide spread and epidemic.  His diagnosis is sharp and poignant - his works, make one reflect on their own values and ask deep and probing questions.  His prescribed treatment...”I think we need a huge dose of Love” he told the BBC in a recent live interview.  They didn’t know how to respond to his simple antidote for humanity.  Art should stimulate he says - well, get ready - this is a much needed overdose!  

Lesley Roy
Director, Curator
The Corvus Art Center

Lesley Roy-Corvus Art Center 2010© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Corvus Art Center

New Haven, Connecticut U.S.A.

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