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Tache Art Gallery: Encounter
Combining the work of amateur and established artists, ‘Encounter’ at Tache Gallery in Designopolis explores the multiple meanings of possible encounters in the eyes of painters Deena Fadel and Wael Sabour, as well as sculptor Rossana Corrado.
With pieces scattered throughout the gallery, Egyptian-Italian Rossana Corrado’s bronze sculptures contemplate the merging of mind, spirit, and body. The sculptures’ flowing lines carry intimate details and vivid expressions. A large sculpture placed at the entrance is hard to miss; titled ‘El Sofio’ – or ‘the breath’ – it captures the spirit of worship with a lady in a pea pod-like structure blowing a breath.
Another piece, titled ‘The Dancers’, features two swirling dancers attached at the hair; a segment combines stone and bronze melded together forming a male figurine reminiscent of Renaissance art. While pricey, ranging between 5,000LE – 45,000LE, Corrado’s pieces are expertly crafted.
The ground floor exhibit features paintings by Deena Fadel, whose stylised paintings combine oil, acrylic, floral textile prints, ink, wax and pastels in a myriad of abstraction. Ranging between 3,000LE and 8,000LE, many paintings capture the chaos of the current political atmosphere. The use of different materials give the paintings varying degrees of depth depending on where you’re standing, making for a very dynamic impression.
Fadel tackles various themes in her work, including social inclusion and exclusion, politics, social space and the race for power. The energy and diversity of the city are prominent features in her paintings, and although she employs an abstract approach to her paintings, Fadel captures a very gritty reality.
‘Town’ captures both the shapes and subtle tones of a town on the horizon, with silhouettes of minarets and church towers; its sharp lines look a lot like calligraphy. ’Cars‘ depicts an aerial view of cars crowding onto a street and the use of different mediums in the piece accentuates the stifling reality of Cairo’s streets.
Up a flight of stairs, Wael Sabour’s collection is titled ’Mediterranean Dream‘. Away from the overwhelming density of Cairo, Sabour’s work is inspired by Alexandria and, in contrast to Fadel’s exhibition, provides more of an escape. The paintings are priced between 3,000LE and 10,000LE.
Boats are a prominent motif in Sabour’s work and it seems as if much of his collection is about capturing the essence of a little boat out in the big blue sea. The pieces are layered and are painted in both vivid ocean colours as well as a combination of ink, pastels and watercolours in sandy tones. Ancient Egyptian influences are a subtle feature in his work.
Sabour’s ‘Harbor Collection’ is an eye-catching set of four paintings with magenta, purple, orange, and turquoise jumping out from their simple white frames. Once again, a little boat is his main subject, viewed from different angles and in different colours.
From a buyer's perspective, there are several great pieces to choose from and some with relatively reasonable prices. Either way, the originality and solid running theme of the exhibition are well worth a visit.
For the first time in the last twenty years, Evelyn Ashamallah unveils her long awaited collection - aptly named, '20 years of Evelyn Ashmallah' - in the beautifully secluded 6 Contemporary Art Space in Zamalek. Born in Dessouk in 1948, Evelyn has dedicated her life to the arts by holding many well respected positions and has won a number of prestigious awards for her paintings. For a short while, she was also the director of the Egyptian Modern and Contemporary Art Museum and even helped set up the Artists Syndicate in Egypt.
The gallery is a large, spacious, well-lit area with high ceilings and bare wooden floors, creating a formal and professional feel. Evelyn's work filled the walls and was made up of eyecatching pieces, often grouped together in series. Most of her pieces used bright, vibrant colours, depicting abstract scenes of mystical, dream-like creatures or jolly caricatures illustrating Egyptian life. In the same style, there were a number of pieces drawn using shades of black and white.
Unfortunately, there is little information regarding the pieces available at the exhibition; neither are the pieces titled, nor could the assistant help us with unravelling the meanings behind the majority of the paintings. However, Evelyn is said to reflect the far, funloving depths of the human imagination, attempting to merge the simplicity and innocence of her own childhood with the satire experienced in adulthood.
The piece we recieved most information about, characterised the ancient myths of the Egyptian worship of serpents for their strength and protective qualities. Using slightly duller colours than the other pieces, perhaps to signify a more serious message, the painting shows a serpent sitting on a stool, being crowned and worshipped by a naked charicature of a woman. The piece is less busy than the others and had we not been told, we couldn't have guessed the story behind the scene.
Other paintings were more self explanatory, for example, a portrait of a smiling couple inside a house, we can assume is taken directly from Evelyn's memory and are perhaps members of her own family. There is also a painting depicting well-dressed couples in the countryside, surrounded by water, greenery and a train passing in the background; which gave off vibes of a warm and happy memory. Another of her paintings titled 'Mouled' is a colourful, playful composition, appearing to be a traditional Egyptian family, complete with a man and two wives - and many other figures - adorned with jewellery and several evil eye symbols warning off jealousy.
Our favourite, and arguably the most eye-catching painting was comprised of ten small canvas' put together to make one giant piece, stretched across an entire wall. Bright reds, greens, blues and yellows are used to paint a make-believe scene involving a flying seal, a bird riding a floating bike and robots-come-aliens.
The pieces exhibited had a lot of depth to them, so were interesting to attempt to analyse, however, with little information about the artists motivations or inspirations, many of the pictures appeared similar to one another, and left us feeling confused rather than inspirited.