Original Oil Painting
year of creation 2019
60cm x 80cm
This painting has been shortlisted for The Sunny Art Prize 2019
I met Azim in Soho in 2019. He was sat against a wall tired and hungry. He barely spoke English and he tried his best to engage in conversation. He had been in the UK for about 4 years and he had gradually seen his life turn upside down culminating in him becoming homeless at the end of 2018. He explained to me that he had a family back home and he missed them very much, his aim had been to come to the UK to work and ultimately send money back to his family.
I wanted to show Azim as I remembered him. He was tired but inquisitorial, he wanted to talk but found it difficult, he was exhausted yet hopeful, so many contradictions. His most important possession was his inhaler so I wanted to add this in the painting. I also wanted the feet to be the main part of the painting as they spoke so much of his life, every wrinkle, every patch of dirt was so important.
I felt a calmness in Azim but I could hear a silent scream just beneath his skin.