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Kin   Oil on canvas   73 x 92 cm

In autumn 2017, Sula Rubens began a series of paintings which had been on her mind a while. The working title for this series is Kin. The paintings and drawings are about the current displacement of many people and the sadness of being away from one’s country and former security. The struggle to survive and protect one’s kin is universal.


“Protecting, till the danger past, with human love” (self portrait)   Oil on canvas   72 x 62 cm

Man and Child

Man & Child   Oil on paper   28 x 55 cm

Kin Study (Man with sleeping Child) Charcoal, ink & pastel on paper 24 x 19 cm

Kin Study   Charcoal, ink & pastel on paper   24 x 19 cm

Kin Study Charcoal & pastel on paper 24 x 19 cm

Kin Study – Boy carrying Young Child   Charcoal, ink & pastel on paper   24 x 19 cm


Three Boys with Football    Oil on canvas    76 x 91 cm


Boy with Ball   Charcoal, ink & pastel on paper 24 x 19 cm


Boy at  Water’s Edge    Charcoal, ink & pastel on paper   24 x 19 cm

Children still play wherever they find themselves, in a camp or in their own street.


Two Children  Oil on canvas  65 x 55 cm


Four Children with Tyres       Oil on canvas       71 x 107 cm


Children and Sofa   Oil on canvas   71 x 127 cm


Kin Study – Seated Boy with Young Child   Oil on paper   53 x 36 cm


Two Goats   Charcoal, ink & pastel on paper   19 x 24 cm

Kin - Three Goats & Two Girls Oil on canvas 129.3 x 106.5 cm

Kin – Three Goats and Two Girls   Oil on canvas   130 x 107 cm


Boy with Goat   Oil on paper   41 x 54 cm

In 2018 Mandell’s Gallery in Norwich mounted an exhibition of new work by artist Sula Rubens.

Sula Rubens made a series  of paintings and drawings entitled “Kin”.

The primary focus of “Kin” is people. Although there is no direct reference in these works to current issues of the displacement and suffering of refugees, some of the people Sula paints are displaced, struggling to survive and protect their kin. Some are also making music, tending animals, sleeping, laughing or playing as people do wherever they happen to be. Children play football whether they are in a refugee camp or in their own street.

In Sula’s paintings and drawings the people are transient figures moving through spaces she creates for them on canvas, maps or book pages. In some pieces, sky, land, sea, maps or buildings show through their painted and drawn forms. They are portrayed outside and always relating to one another by talking, laughing or hand gestures. In each picture, there is one figure, even if it is a goat, who looks directly at the viewer.

The drawing is strong. The paint is laid lightly, just enough to convey their presence. The viewer can see just enough. There is no directly explained or implied back story. We view these people as they are at this moment. Their dignified presence in these paintings and drawings is at once moving and life-affirming.



Girl with a Horse  Ink, watercolour & acrylic on paper  36.5 x 37 cm


Two Children with Umbrella  Watercolour on paper  19 x 24 cm


Young Boy holding a Small Bird  Watercolour on paper  22 x 16 cm


Standing Boy Study  Ink, watercolour & acrylic on paper 54 x 31 cm 


Boy holding his Cat  Acrylic on paper  49 x 36 cm

Kin Study - Family Watercolour on paper 19 x 24 cm

Kin Study – Family   Watercolour on paper  24 x 19 cm


Boy holding his Cat (Fadi and Aleppo) Watercolour, acrylic & pastel on paper  40 x 37 cm


Kin Charcoal, ink & pastel on paper (map) 74 x 45 cm


Boy in Doorway     Watercolour & pastel on paper   32 x 26 cm

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One thought on “KIN”

  1. Enza Burgio says:

    A gentle vision with deep observation. Your colour and palette show the pathos of leaving one’s nation while the images show the will to survive, nurture and find strength in the community of family or friends. Wonderful work – a strong move in a new direction which is unmistakably Sula Rubens.

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