Ubuntu Art Gallery: Halim Yacoub Exhibition
For ten days only, Ubuntu Art Gallery is displaying a collection of sculptures by renowned artist, Halim Yacoub, who is both an acclaimed sculptor and talented painter. This exhibition features some of his most intriguing pieces of work cast from bronze and the material alone fills the gallery space with a glorious glow.
From the moment we entered Ubuntu’s glass doors, we could see that the gallery is filled with a ray of figurative monuments ranging from a height of approximately one-to-two feet tall and each presented on a marble plinth. The general concept seems to be around animals and humans with shape and form being an important feature. Then there’s the material itself; Yacoub takes full advantage of bronze an ideal material when making sculptures, filling his pieces with the finest details, with the reflective qualities adding richness.
The first piece to catch our attention was the one of a duck-like figure; it’s only from the shape of the beak that one can associate it with a duck rather than a chicken or other bird, though the one leg that is visible is long and thin like that of a flamingo. The body itself is made up of bold curves resulting in a plump shape, though it does lack detail and should this sculpture be turned on its side or positioned at a different angle, it might be impossible to associate it with a bird at all.
Another sculpture portrays a horse, though it seems to show it in a more grotesque form than traditional arts have presented the animal historically. The legs are thick like tree trunks, it has a large upper body which suggests the horse is masculine, as does the strong face and the mane consists of sharp triangle shapes. However, despite the bizarre portrayal of the horse in terms of shape and form, the way the bronze material captures the light still bestows it a certain sense of honour, pride or position.
Born in 1937, Yacoub graduated with a degree in Interior Design in 1960 and then, in 1967, went on to achieve a Diploma from Zurich Academy of Fine and Applied Arts. He has since been widely recognised for his sculpture work and this exhibition is a true portrayal of the artist’s talent and ability in creating eye-catching works of art, showing familiar things, in an unfamiliar way.