New Zealand Red Cross supported Hani when he arrived in New Zealand and now he wants to give back. He’s planning on auctioning his artworks to raise money for Red Cross programmes.

Originally from Iraq, Hani has been living in Wellington for six months after being accepted for resettlement through the refugee quota programme.

Hani has already created 16 pieces in a broad variety of styles. Some are inspired by the landscapes and culture of New Zealand, and others by the classical artists.

Many of his paintings are on second-hand canvases that he has recycled to bring the costs down. This comes with its own challenges as he has to layer each coat of paint carefully to ensure that the original cannot be seen.

This method means that Hani works on several paintings simultaneously and the partially finished works are scattered around the house.

“While one painting is drying in the kitchen I paint layers on the others,” Hani says.

“[At one point] there was one painting drying in the hallway, one in the kitchen, and even one in the bathroom.”

Hani has studied art for more than 16 years and has shown his work all over the world. He is a trained architect and custom artist and now loves sharing his passion for painting. So far he has gifted his work to the resettlement centre in Mangere and his GP here in Wellington.

He plans to host his first exhibition in Wellington as a fundraiser for New Zealand Red Cross.