Human Landscape – Refugee Children

What can a war artist do?

Yazidi 1

A photo is quickly taken, sold to a news agency, reacted to in passing by millions, and passed over.  A drawing takes far longer in time and space, to contemplate the condition. I did this one and two others, yesterday.  Some more were done last week, and the rest are from a few years ago. .

Our children are the same for us the world over.  This woman works hard on the land and in her household.  She holds it all together, and carries the weight of water from the well.  She gave birth to her babies in pain and crying out and relief; they are her life, each one.  Her husband may or may not be a strong, caring father. .

Now their homestead and village is shattered:  they wait homeless on the waterless mountain.  She is vulnerable.  In a war zone, you do not know who is friend or rapist – like an earthquake.  Her children are hungry and there is no roof.  There is the tearing pain inside her belly, of anxiety and shock:  the soft smell of her baby:  the bewildered bravery of her daughter as a journalist’s lens draws near.  They are rounded up like goats, by unknown herders. .

She is my sister.  I live in a safe house with interesting things to do, and plenty to eat.  I can only reach out by drawing her, to touch, that she may feel somehow, somewhere that someone knows.  Send her strength …  Even now … wherever she is. .


Yazidi 2

He’s a father, and they lost their mother.  The children want to help him, and don’t know how.  On their terrifying journey to survival, it is the artist’s way to support them.  Loaded on a donkey they ride off into uncertain night, the first desolate steps through quicksand, of an astounding courage. .

It is humiliating to have your home torn away and to ride with all you can carry on the donkey to God knows where?


Yazidi child 2

The newspaper said:  She has a badly needed drink.   While I was drawing her – and it took me nearly all day –  I wondered a lot about what blinds a man or boy, to kill or hurt a beautiful child like this in the name of fundamentalism.


Gaza children 1

I singled these children out from a crowd in Gaza –  two brothers and a sister. They watch perhaps the bombing of their street – evacuated.  A rope to hold back the crowd, threads together each child’s parentless abyss…   the grownups’ broken world

Gaza 2



refugee children 2

This was a design for a Christmas card some years ago – a refugee camp anywhere and the Star.


Valerie Brooks

The late Valerie Brooks gave 17 years of her life to support children in distress.  Through her cleaner, (a doctor from West Ukraine who could earn more for her family by cleaning houses in London, than by practicing medicine in her home town) assistance was given also to a poverty-stricken Ukrainian community, through the Maria Relief Fund .   A network of friends and sponsors helps to support each family there, and to establish an English class and educational opportunities for their children. .  It is an extended family.

Many large charities lose their definition in administrative overheads.  Smaller charities operate in a grass-roots way through human contact and serendipity.  The Maria Relief Fund is a small registered charity, assisting displaced children around the world.  I am associated with it and also with the Phoenix Aid Centre .  PAC provides accessible therapy and counselling for refugees, victims of abuse and for all who might rise from their ashes and fly. .

A man or woman who brought their family from danger into safety – through the final hurdle of UK border control and language barrier – drew on reserves of superhuman values, to make their quantum leap, and integrate with a new culture.  Such persons have that gift to contribute – when these qualities within them are recognised.  So we should find it within ourselves, to recognise. .


village child, ukraine

This is a village child in Ukraine.


refugee children 1

More refugees on displaced borderlands – the children take care of each other.  They are our future – the unbreakable jewel within us.   The Age of Aquarius breaks down old walls.


Kristina is a talented girl in the Ukraine, whom I help to sponsor.  She lives with her granny and grandad, who worry what will happen to her when they die.


dancing children, ukraine

Dancers at a village festival in West Ukraine.





My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

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