Naive Romantic, with Adi Atassi

I sent the Syrian artist and poet Adi Atassi this very short poem, inspired by our mutual romanticism and naivety. He responded with brushstrokes.

Reem to Adi:

I fell in love with an illusion.

The illusion shattered,

But the love remains to taunt me.

Before preparing his response, Adi asked me what my favourite colours are. I told him turquoise and fuchsia. I have always loved these colours but never gave much thought as to why until one day last year a Syrian woman I was meeting for the first time asked me. Without hesitation I said: “Because they remind me of Damascus”, and in that moment I could see the vibrant bougainvillea that filled its streets and the turquoise gems that filled its homes and souks.

Adi to Reem:

“From To Reem”, Adi Atassi, April 2020, watercolour on paper

Reem put before me a creative and beautiful challenge. As a painter and a poet, I wanted to convert her words into a poetic composition of colour. I wrote onto paper the words with ink that flowed from my heart and from her poem. I then passed a drawing knife like a warm spring breeze over the fresh black ink and it began to draw itself and turn into forms and configurations that emanated from the heart of Reem and the spirit of her poem. To complete it, I added touches of her favourite colours. This is the result of a true and honest interaction.

Creative Conversations: An Introduction
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