Ubuntu Art Gallery: ‘Connect the Dots’ Exhibition
One of Zamalek’s hidden jewels, often going unnoticed by the general public, Ubuntu Art Gallery is a discreet and cosy little venue situated on Hassan Sabry St. The latest exhibition it houses within its stylish premises is called Connect the Dots, featuring three different artists with three very different styles.
Born in Alexandria in 1989, Hakeem Abou-Kila is the youngest artist in the exhibition. The first collection of paintings that highlights the entrance and instigates the exhibition is by him.
All the paintings have a sort of magical multi-coloured marble-affect to them. Due to the crystallised colours, it’s almost like they have been taken from a rare jewel or simply from something that belongs to another planet entirely, beyond what we know. Drips, splashes and thick, swirling brush strokes make up each of the pieces, most of which appear quite abstract. Yet upon closer inspection, the figures; the small animals and bicycles within them whirl into focus.
Though the meaning is not clear to the human eye, a small piece of text enlightens us to the fact that Hakeem Abou-Kila is focusing on the idea of social criticism, which he represents through the ancient Egyptian god Horus and the carelessness of the Egyptian workers. After reading this piece of text it is easier to view the paintings and seek out their individual meanings as one image now even resembles a God-like figure, which is quite possibly Horus himself. Also the idea of being from another planet or from a rare jewel suddenly can be understood as the paintings focus on the hierarchy of the Gods.
Further into the gallery is an interesting and somewhat scientific collection of work by Mahmoud Hamdi. Born in Giza in 1980, he has participated in many exhibitions nationally and internationally including New York. The paintings are extremely colourful yet seem to represent the diagrams of cells, atoms, flowers and other elements that one might find in a science textbook and the way in which they are presented is like a diagram rather than a piece of art, with bold, plastic colours; sharp lines and perfection. If you look closely you may also find similarities with the images beneath a microscope in a science lab with their intricate details and bizarre, whirling colours.
Born in Cairo in 1986, Nahla Reda is the third artist participating in the exhibition with her collection of mixed-media creations. Using collage, paint and even oil pastels in some, architecture and pop art are the main elements that make up her work. She seems to mix the old with the new throughout each piece. One piece shows the old Groppi building in the centre of Cairo yet decorated with a neon blue light emphasising the effect of modernism.
Three different artists with three highly unique styles is what makes ‘Connect the Dots’ so interesting, diverse and well worth a trip to Ubuntu Art Gallery. In addition to this grand spectacle, all three artists were present at the exhibition to answer any questions about their work.