Assyrian monument designer explains the art of suffering

f91a687d6dc13d69db01f1485221d854_resized1.jpgTHE 4.5m-high monument for Assyrian victims of genocide is a work of art for Lewis Batros.

The Bossley Park sculptor designed the memorial, which has been approved by Fairfield Council for the park on the corner of Elizabeth Drive and Smithfield Rd.

 Related: Photos of the reaction to the Assyrian monument

“The main aspect of the sculpture is honoring our martyrs, which is the people we lost from 1914 to today,” Mr Batros said.

“The hand holding the Earth is representing the world united against genocide.

“There are children around the hand and that’s the future. We are thinking about the future and against genocide.”

image0021.jpgTo construct the monument, which is due to be completed by the end of May, Mr Batros will build a clay model and use it to create a 4.5m-high mould.

Once the mould is in place and supported with steel inside, cement will be poured into it.

Three days later the mould will be removed and the cement monument will be spray-painted bronze.

“It is large but it’s going to be beautiful in that location. I wish they asked me for a 20m sculpture.”

Mr Batros was “surprised” by some adverse reaction to the monument: “It’s not against any other culture or any people. Unfortunately this is the misunderstanding.”

He is not worried about his work being damaged by Turkish protesters. “I’m not upset because I know they got the wrong meaning.

“I trust these people if they know the meaning. They’re from a modern and democratic society.”

Mr Batros has been practising art since he was a child and his work is on display around Fairfield, at Sydney Olympic Park and in Moscow and the US.

He takes inspiration from “anything, whatever comes to me”.

“I got a degree in art in 1986, then I came to Australia in 1990,” he said.

“I started with drawing because my older brother is an artist too.

“I’m happy to work with any material or subject. I enjoy art. It’s just like someone enjoys chocolate.”