Hour by hour we we witness the powerful images reporting the humanitarian tragedy unfolding on the beaches, roads, railway lines and cities of Europe as families flee war-torn regions in search of asylum.

Every day we watch as refugees make the perilous journey from parts of Africa and the Middle East to seek safety in European countries including Germany, Sweden and the UK.

We stuff clothes into bags, sign petitions and share opinions but is it enough?

Unveiling this weekend, a new exhibition at Attico Art Centre seeks to bring immediacy to one of the root causes of this crisis – the conflicts at home across the Middle East.

Titled Creativity Amongst Chaos: Art from the Middle East, the exhibition explores the ongoing disputes in the region through the eyes of artists from countries including Syria, Iraq, Israel and Turkey, with a goal of increasing awareness about life in the troubled area.

One such artist is Lebanese painter Hratch Aintablian, whose family has roots in the Armenian enclave of Kessab in northwest Syria, close to the border with Turkey.

Although he lives in Beirut, Hratch has a studio in Kessab, the town where his grandparents lived. In 2014 the studio was ransacked as part of a wider attack by forces opposed to the Syrian government. More than a hundred of his paintings were either stolen or damaged beyond repair, while many buildings in the town, a popular holiday destination for Syrians, were burnt and destroyed.

When news of the tragedy reached Hratch’s friend Susan Bakhchinyan, who lives in Watford, she was moved to bring a selection of his surviving work to a UK audience.

“All his paintings were all over the place and damaged, some houses were burned and destroyed,” explains Susan, who first met Hratch in Armenia where they were both students during the early 1990s.

The mother-of-two continues: “They had destroyed literally everything. Some people have tried to go back. They still have a fear that they can come and do the same thing. It’s a beautiful place to live, a kind of holiday place. It’s not safe, but people are struggling in Syria right now.”

An ancient settlement with its roots in the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, many of Kessab’s residents were affected by the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

But the town survived, and many of Kessab’s residents still speak a specific dialect of Armenian unique to the area.

Hratch, who often holidayed in Kessab, captured the beauty of the peaceful town in his paintings before it was invaded in 2014.

Describing his work, Susan says: “You can see just a house, the background of beautiful mountains, people sitting and chatting and having a coffee, just routine, peaceful things you know?

“It seems like now it is the right time to display his paintings and tell the story about Kessab.”

Curated by Attico director Andrew Horn and artist Kristin Kirwan-Taylor, the exhibition also explores the conflict in Palestine through photographs, introduced by the mayor of Watford, Councillor Dorothy Thornhill.

Andrew says: “As Senator Johnson said – truth is the first casualty of war. Art is at times the last bastion of truth, and I think the messages these artists are desperate to convey deserve greater exposure.”

Attico Art Centre, High Street, Watford, September 12 to 27, 9.30am to 5.30pm. Details: 01923 247228, atticoartcentre.com