Painting with her feet, Syrian artist Duaa al-Bustati conquers her disability

Damascus, SANA- Being born without arms has not prevented her from perusing her passion for painting; artist Duaa al-Bustati, now 28, has conquered her disability by using her feet to draw ingenious paintings.

Duaa’s determination and persistence have allowed her to hold her first solo exhibition at Kafr Souseh Cultural Center in Damascus.

The exhibition features 33 large paintings drawn on glass, featuring various topics which include nature, old Damascene alleys, portraits, and her daily life, using a realistic expressionist style.

“Painting means everything in life to me. It has been my best friend since I was ten years old. It allows me to express my visions and my situation. It is a way to show the world that there are no limits,” Duaa said.

During the exhibition, Duaa showed her Faculty of Fine Arts graduation project which embodies her life and how she deals on daily basis with the concept of “living with one’s hands tied” as she put it.

“I can translate the ideas and dreams inside me through my paintings. I wish to make a name for myself in the world of art,” Duaa said.

Duaa had worked for two successive months to prepare for the exhibition. She prefers to paint on glass due to its transparency which makes it suitable for conveying her feelings and ideas.

“I have chosen to paint Damascene alleys because I love Damascus so much. It is the city in which I was born,” Duaa said of her work, adding “I love to paint nature because it can reflect our inner worlds through their overlapping colors and their pristine beauty.”

Duaa said her family and friends have always encouraged her to pursue her dreams, and they treat her as any other person, and this is how she chooses to live her daily life in all its details, adding that she hopes her works will reach a global audience.

“I was amazed by the talent of Duaa when I first met her at one of the exhibitions, and I was more amazed when I knew that she draws using her feet,” Father Elias Zahlawi said at the opening of the exhibition.

“She is a creative artist. She has a strong will and determination. She should be a role model for many people who don’t know how to use their talents and who don’t add any positive value to life,” Zahlawi said.

Ruaa al-Jazaeri

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