After fleeing their home country of Syria. Batoul Ahmed 22, arrived in Melbourne with her family in 2016 after spending a year in Malaysia.
Batoul was inspired to draw by her Dad at a very young age, who drew portraits of her Mum. With such a flair and enthusiasm for drawing as a kid, her parents decided to make it their mission to always supply Batoul with colours and sketchbooks.
Whilst living in Kuala Lumpur, Batoul one day discovered an art Gallery called ‘The Refinery’ where she met artist and gallery owner, Ben Toh. With Batoul attending Ben’s art classes in the gallery, and as a result of her regular visits, Ben and Batoul became good friends. So, Batoul started painting; learning a lot from Ben about his art practice in the process.
After arriving in Melbourne in 2016, the only thing that helped Batoul through the transition process was painting. “Whenever I felt down, I used to paint to understand my feelings and the way things were going, mentally and emotionally. This was really helpful”.
Batoul attended high school in Melbourne which was where she met an exceptional artist - Sandra Tobias. “I was so lucky to have Sandra as an art teacher for two years. Because of Sandra’s guidance and our galleries visits, I started to experiment with different art mediums and styles, so learnt so much.
At 18, I started linking art with psychology which was a process of self-discovery. They say the first step towards healing is pointing out the problem, and this is what I did through art, because art always asks me: “how are you”? Batoul’s mother influenced her intellectual input in art and psychology and encouraged her to continue with psychology as a tool to discover art furthermore.
From there, she shifted from painting to mixed media, projection, photography, and video art to focus more on conceptual art. “Marcel Duchamp has a big influence on my art practice and the way I represent ‘ideas’. Duchamp said, “I don’t believe in art, I believe in the artist” and this is where my linking of psychology and art comes from. Therefore, I started my bachelor’s in psychology at RMIT University and a certificate in community services.
“I love Melbourne and I have participated in the art scene through a variety of projects such as; presenting projection artwork about suicide; paintings about depression; painting a mural for the Brotherhood of St Laurence and more recently, Space 2b who gave me the opportunity to work with the mural artist Heesco on a mural for the gallery’s laneway”.
I am currently an art teacher at Artsmart Kids online as well as being a full-time student.
Face2face is my first independent art exhibition, and I am very grateful to be a part of it and to get to know Space 2b and the wonderful team of people there. It’s a fantastic community to be a part of.
Proudly supporting local artists and our art community
TUES – FRI 10am - 5pm, SAT 10am - 3pm
ArtSpace @ Space2b Social Design,
144 Chapel St, Balaclava