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ONE of Canberra’s proudest artistic exports, the stencil artist ELK, is about to exhibit his work at the Opera House in Damascus.ELK—Luke Cornish, whose works can still be seen all around Civic, travelled through Syria with Sydney Anglican Church minister the Reverend Dave Smith on the hope-raising mission “Boxers for Peace”.
What Cornish says he found in the cities ravaged by civil war, was people “proud of their ancient civilisation, and profoundly giving in their generosity of spirit”. The unfettered access allowed him to see, first-hand, how people continue to live in hope when surrounded by horrendous atrocities.
This, he says, was not Syria of the newsfeeds, this was the real Syria—the ice cream vendor, children playing in the street, people going about their daily lives at markets sidestepping the detritus of war.
An exhibition of ELK’s artistic impressions of Syria runs in Sydney from this Thursday, February 10, after which it will travel to Syria to be shown at the Opera House in Damascus.
Level 1, 66 King Street, Sydney, “Road to Damascus,” by ELK, Level 1, 66 King Street, Sydney, February, 2–10.