Ubuntu Art Gallery: Summer Collection
Though often overlooked when talking about Zamalek’s many galleries, Ubuntu Art Gallery has slowly but surely carved out a place for itself in the local art scene.
Ubuntu’s ethos aims to showcase the work of artists from all walks of life who simply share a passion for art; this is something that is apparent in the gallery’s summer collection, which succeeds in bringing many different artists and styles together under one roof.
Before setting foot inside Unbuntu, two beautifully crafted Ramadan lanterns, decorated with swirling patterns and figurative drawings, will instantly grab your attention, which are the work of artist, Islam Al Rehani.
Once inside the gallery, there are several more lanterns by artist Nahla Reda who also has several mixed media pieces hung on the walls.
Some of the other pieces in the exhibition include scenic paintings of Cairo by Mohamed Khedr, who is known for capturing the peaceful state of the city by visiting the streets during the early hours. Khedr portrays snippets of Cairo in unconventional colours, including washed out greens and yellows, while, in some of his paintings, it almost appears as if it is raining.
A collection of calligraphic artworks are also featured in this exhibition, adding some diversity as well as visual tranquillity to the whole collection.
As a consistent visual element of how Islamic culture has come to be understood, calligraphy is an art that is created using delicate writing equipment such as a dip pen or fine brush, amongst others, to create harmonious, skilful handwriting – something that Youssry Dessouki coveys with his work.
With several pieces displayed at the far end of the gallery, Youssry delicately uses oil paint on canvas and ink on paper to create simple but striking images.
Two calligraphy pieces were particularly interesting in their depiction of tiny stick figures wearing the traditional ‘tarboosh’, with the text itself reading ‘My God’.
Ubuntu's summer collection captures the gallery's approach to local art perfectly; it's a gallery that continues to provide a platform for the increasingly ecelectic Cairo art scene – a philosophy that saw it become one of the first venues to be awarded a Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Award in the 2015-launched arts & culture category.