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Ubuntu Art Gallery

Ubuntu Art Gallery: ‘Tawaseen’ Exhibition by Mohamed Oraby

reviewed by
Katie Dryden
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Ubuntu Art Gallery: ‘Tawaseen’ Exhibition by Mohamed Oraby

Ubuntu Gallery’s latest exhibition comes in the form of Tawaseen; a vast and beautifully composed exhibition showcasing Egyptian artist Moham Oraby’s combined elements of both traditional and modern art. 

Tawaseen has two translations in the Arabic language; one of them being ‘goblets’ or ‘bowls’, while the exhibition itself also proposes another rough translation or adaptation: ‘windows of eternity.’ Looking at the pieces on display, the first meaning of the word Tawaseen is manifested in the bowls of fruit and cups portrayed in vivid colours and the other meaning can actually be a metaphor for how art itself can be perceived as a window of eternity.  

Born in in Sohag in 1961, Oraby studied painting in the Faculty of Arts in Luxor in 1984, before earning a Masters in photography at the Faculty of Fines Arts at Cairo’s Helwan University. Oraby has participated in many international exhibitions including Washington DC, Damascus in Syria as well as several exhibitions in Egypt.

One of the pieces which stood out is an oil painting depicting a table filled with bowls, eggs and fruits cut into pieces; it’s a cosy, colourful scene with the objects in the piece entwined within a pastel-green, patterned background featuring leaves and even a lizard. It’s a piece that encapsulates and highlights the emphasis the nature; one of the most beautiful sides of Oraby’s work. 

Another painting depicts figures placed within similar settings; a lady in a bright red dress stands in front of a sand-coloured scene. Perhaps using elements of nature seems to be a common denominator in many of Oraby’s pieces as fruit pieces appear in several paintings as well as several green plants and leaves.

The background shades of Oraby’s paintings are quite similar in the sense that he uses mainly pastel shades which work nicely with the foreground colours which are much more intense and vivid. 

Oil paint seems to be the preferred material for Oraby, which works well creating a furnished surface that reflects the lighting of the gallery space; it’s almost as if the fruit bowls and goblets are glistening beneath the beams.

If you have ever seen and favoured the delicate creations of British illustrator Beatrix Potter and the languid tones she uses to portray her outdoor, garden scenes, then you’re bound to appreciate this exhibition; the entire collection seems to generate a positive outdoor aesthetic as well as a relaxed and pleasant ambiance. The soft green shades all collaborate well with the more vivid yellows, oranges and reds which have been delicately applied onto a hard surface. It is said that Oraby likes to paint scenes that possess energy about them, which he can further emphasise through his own artistic style and choices.

360 Tip

The exhibition is on show until the 16th of November.

Best Bit

 Oraby offers a fresh outdoors feel through his carefully considered palette.

Worst Bit

There was no brochure to provide us with more information.    

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