By Tamjid Alkohali
Hearing the name “Waleed Dallah” recalls a memory of the youth revolution in 2011, when the artist turned his tent in Changing Square into a studio for painting martyrs.
Dallah started his career sculpting small models of archaeological sites in Yemen, such as Dar Al-Hajar, Al-Qahira Citadel, and others. His sculptures became more serious after studying the works of famous artists and simulating some famous sculptures like The Virgin and Child by Michelangelo.
“I learned the art of sculpture by myself by simulating immortal works,” he said.
In 2002, Dallah got the President of the Republic Award for his art, honoring his sculpture of the face of the Yemeni great poet Abdullah al-Bardouni. He became more famous after making a statue for the Yemeni leader of 1948 Revolution Al-Tholaia. He also made a statue named Rebel inspired by a scene of a young man opening his arms and chest in front of armored security in the youth Revolution.
Dallah spends different amounts of time implementing his works. According to him, some works take months, especially it isn’t a request of someone. But if it’s a request, he prepares it in less than two weeks.
Dallah said that the sculpture is a kind of plastic art that embodies culture, civilization and history of the community in a tangible way. ”Sculpture is considered a furnishing of the homeland with national and aesthetic symbols in order to reflect for the coming generations what we have come from culture and civilization,” he added.
Despite people’s awareness of the arts recently, sculpture art is less present than other kinds of arts. Dallah explained that the main reason behind the absence of sculpture art is the few number of people who work the field, and most of them work in a commercial manner to earn a living like ornamenting walls and doors of houses.
Dallah confirmed that the customers of fine art in all its types is very limited today, especially with the deterioration of the economic situation which makes even businessmen prefer Chinese works.
Dallah revealed preparations for his own exhibition, which will include sculptured works with various ores. According to him, this exhibition will be the first in Yemen.
Dallah was born in 1973 and lives in his native city of Taiz. He has won many awards and participated in different local events as well as working as the manager for the Art House in Sana’a.