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‘A Dialogue of Life’ Exhibition at Al Masar Gallery

Al Masar Gallery: ‘A Dialogue of Life’ by Hani Feisal

reviewed by
Katie Dryden
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Al Masar Gallery: ‘A Dialogue of Life’ by Hani Feisal

The great thing about sculpture is that unlike a painting, it offers the possibility to walk around it and observe it from all angles giving the viewer the power to be so close that they are almost part of it.  Showing at Zamalek’s Al Masar Gallery, ‘A Dialogue of Life’ features stunning sculptures by the artist, Hani Feisal, and the best part is its on display for an entire month.

Feisal uses a variety of materials to create his sculptures: bronze, granite and wood, and the creations themselves are of animals such as a rooster, a crow, an ox and several human figures, both male and female.  One of our favourites from the collection was the smooth, shiny rooster sculpture which was made from bronze; it stood tall and proud and the bronze material captured the light as though it were the early morning sun.

Another sculpture, a little further into the gallery, is of a crow, though this one is made from granite; a material which alone gives an outdoor affect.  The size which is around triple the size of an actual crow portrays a sacredness of the bird.  It is rather bizarre to see these creatures in this form as it appears like they were captured, frozen and robbed of life, though it could also be said that their life has been frozen and then preserved therefore giving it an immortality.

Feisal’s exhibition also includes some wooden sculptures of women though one particular sculpture, titled Village Woman, appears obese and grotesque with very little detail to add any personality to her.  However the wood material which was used to create it gives it a soft and delicate affect which contrasts against the unattractive shape.  A more clear portrayal of the effect of the materials is the double statue of two women, identical in every way except for the material; one from wood and one from granite, with the latter giving a feeling of distance, whereas the wooden one is more personal and sensual.

The title of the exhibition raises interesting aspect to the concept of life, in itself offering possible connotations as to the content and idea behind the work inside.  If we ask our self What is life? some would say breathing, sleeping, eating and others may look deeper and state it is a test from God or another higher power.  Hani Feisal shows us through his sensual display of finely set sculptures that life is the way the rooster always stands tall and proud and never fails to crow at the break of day; it is the bird perched on a branch, contemplating the sky and it is the existence of the human-being and all the animals that make up our world.

360 Tip

Hani Feisal was born in Cairo in 1968 and graduated from the faculty of Art in 1991. At present, he is a Professor at the Cairo University.

Best Bit

The variety of materials and iconography used make this an endlessly fascinating and eclectic collection

Worst Bit

At busier times, the gallery can be rather overcrowded.

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