A STUDENT’S paintings of Syrian refugees have gone on display in an historic venue.

Durham University Arabic and History student Hannah Rose Thomas’ paintings depict refugees she met while living in Jordan last year.

The resulting exhibition has gone on display at Durham Castle.

At tonight’s (Tuesday, March 3) launch event, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) tents used by Syrian refugees, painted and turned into art, were pitched around the castle and Andrej Mahecic, from the UNHCR, talked about the work of the organisation.

Ms Thomas worked for the UNHCR in Jordan for three months last year, organising art projects for Syrian refugees.

She said: “The humanitarian disaster in the Middle East is unprecedented in the modern world and the estimated number of people currently displaced by violent conflict is more than after the Second World War.

“There have been countless psychological studies that show the benefits of artistic expression in overcoming trauma.

“For the UNHCR art projects, I chose to use recycled refugee tents, a powerful symbol of displacement, as the medium to convey our message. The goal was to turn these symbols of loss and displacement into beautiful pieces of artwork, in order to raise awareness for the plight of refugees.”

Ms Thomas said the tents would be displayed in Durham Cathedral from mid-April until the end of May and on London Southbank in June.