About the artist
Hannah Rose Thomas FRSA is a twenty-four year-old British artist and recent Durham graduate in Arabic and History. Hannah has sold her paintings and received commissions since she was eighteen years-old to fund her humanitarian work in Mozambique, Sudan, Madagascar, and, more recently, in Jordan and Calais. In 2015 Hannah was long-listed in the BP Portrait Award for her portrait of Sir Trevor Nunn.
Hannah Rose Thomas paints the portraits of people she has encountered on her travels; from African women in remote villages in Mozambique to Syrian refugees in Jordanian refugee camps. Her most recent paintings have been of refugees she met while volunteering in the Calais ‘Jungle’.
Hannah’s intimate portraits seek to humanise the individuals forced to flee their homes, whose personal stories are otherwise shrouded by statistics. She draws inspiration from Islamic art and Arabic poetry, to celebrate the rich heritage of the Middle East, so often forgotten and overshadowed by war.
While living in Jordan as an Arabic student in 2014, Hannah organised an art project with Syrian refugees for UNHCR, which were exhibited in Amman on World Refugee Day. Hannah returned to Jordan in April 2016 for an art project with children in Za'atari and Azraq refugee camps for Relief International.
Hannah is currently studying for her MA at the Prince’s School of Traditional Art in London. This summer she will be travelling to Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, for an art project with Yazidi women who have escaped ISIS captivity.
You can watch an interview with Hannah about her portrait paintings and art projects in refugee camps below: