18 Jan

An Artist’s Visual Response to the Egyptian Revolution

Childlike paper cut-outs meet political upheaval

Written By Samira Larouci

As one of Egypt’s most influential and established artists, Mohamed Abla has exhibited his work everywhere from the Egyptian Academy of Rome to Germany’s Kunstmuseum in Bonn. Abla’s continual exploration of the history of the Silk Road (and the parallels between past and present politics of the East and West) has seen the Mansoura-born artist scoop up the First Prize at the Kuwait Biennial, and the Grand Prix at the Alexandria Biennale in 1997.

 

 

And now, to celebrate the launch of ARTSPACE Dubai’s rebranded gallery space, (which will be now known as Tabari Artspace) Alba will be opening a solo show entitled Mohamed Abla: The Silk Road.

 

 

The exhibition—which is comprised of a selection of abstract works—shows Abla’s continued experimentation with new methods of paper marbling with techniques like Ebru (a traditional Turkish technique whereby paper is laid in a tray filled with multi-coloured water, oil and paint).

 

Abla cuts childlike shapes from the variously dyed and marbled papers, arranging them into folkloric compositions to resemble animals, heroes and princesses. But it’s not all pretty dyed paper and cut- outout figures – there’s always a deeper underlying narrative to Abla’s work. With this series, the underlying theme is the unsettling juxtaposition between the nostalgia of fables and the unsettling symbolism of the political and economic issues following Egypt’s revolution in 2011.