Displaced :: moments in the lives of Syrian refugees

With the Syrian refugee crisis in its seventh year, it’s difficult to imagine what new events could make life worse for the millions of Syrians who have fled their homes to escape the violence of the country’s brutal civil war. More difficult still: how to maintain fresh compassion when the numbers of those killed, injured, displaced, and in need have grown to the point of becoming paralyzing.

Naomi Cox started her job as a designer at World Vision three years into the crisis. Four years later, she was looking for a way to come to grips with the tragedy and do something active to help refugees through her talent as an artist.

“I see so many photos, articles, and videos. It can be overwhelming and, like so many people, I start to feel like there’s nothing I can do to help,” said Naomi. “I wanted to do more than give money and pray. I wanted to use my art to shine a light on the crisis.”

From that sense of frustration and restlessness, Displaced :: moments in the lives of Syrian refugees emerged. This series of 12 watercolor paintings depicts life for refugees fleeing Syria by boat, migrating into Europe by land, and stuck in camps and settlements in Lebanon and Jordan.

“Painting is a way for me to process the injustice,” says Naomi. “To reflect on the need, but also to convey the hope that survives, even in the darkest circumstances. My desire is for this art to bring awareness, encourage compassion, and cause people to pause, advocate, and give.”

Proceeds from original art sales in the Displaced series will be donated to World Vision’s Syrian Refugee Crisis Fund. As of May 25, 2017, $3,694 has been donated to fund—made possible by original art sales exhibited at Dubsea Coffee during the month of April, and sales in May following the show. Thank you to all who have supported this cause!

Paintings {except What I Carry and Crossing} adapted from photos owned by World Vision.