Yusuf Elsaadi was born in Beirut. The difficult journey to London as a teenager was a blur, prompting him to explore lost memories. The quest to answer questions about displacement and belonging made capturing life and time through images an obsession. Memory would no longer be left to the mind alone.
Inspired by Bauhaus, music, twentieth century artists, and Chris Marker’s film La Jetée in particular, Yusuf enrolled in the London College of Printing in 1995 and received a degree in Graphic Design. His image-making skills honed, Yusuf became a designer for independent film festivals, creator of visuals for theatre, music events, and art installations, and then a filmmaker and art director for creative industries in the UK, Europe, and the Americas.
Yusuf’s present work is a collection of collages which started to answer his original questions. These are images of anti-war protests, festival crowds, the reflection of the sea, the glass on a window, the rim of a coffee cup, the edge of a pavement, the exposed limb of a homeless person in winter – all juxtaposed and painted over like our everyday realities, which we sometimes accept as truths, often deny, but mostly ignore. However, these images remain part of a whole, the narrative of our collective consciousness driven by fear, hope, despair, and love. Here our history is solidified and says we all belong, whether we like it or not.