Islamic artist showcases her solo work at Jeddah gallery

Islamic artist showcases her solo work at Jeddah gallery
Multimedia artist Maïmouna Guerresi is flanked by Italian Consul General Elisabetta Martini (left) and Qaswra H. Hafez, owner of Hafez Gallery, with one of her works in the background. (Huda Bashatah)
Updated 13 December 2016

Islamic artist showcases her solo work at Jeddah gallery

Islamic artist showcases her solo work at Jeddah gallery

JEDDAH: The Italian-Senegal multimedia artist Maïmouna Guerresi comes for the first time to Saudi Arabia to showcase her artwork and introduce it to the Saudi culture through Hafez Gallery.
This is the first solo exhibition, which opens today at Hafez Gallery, of an Italian artist in Jeddah in nearly 20 years, according to Italian Consul General Elisabetta Martini.
“She is the perfect bridge between our two cultures as she is a Muslim Italian artist who has a long, interesting story to tell on Wednesday in the Saudi Art Council,” Martini said on Monday at a press conference of the new initiative of the consul general in Jeddah to boost cultural relations with Saudi Arabia in collaboration with Hafez Gallery.
Hafez Gallery, which serves as a space to nurture the discovery of a Saudi visual identity and participates in international art dialogue, is hosting Guerresi’s solo. Her work focuses on the spirituality of human beings and their relationship to their inner mystical dimension.
Guerresi converted to Islam in 1991 and it marked a turning point in her life by affording her a new identity and direction for her work. She aims at creating awareness of the vital unifying qualities of Islamic spirituality through her use of recurrent metaphors such as milk, light, the hijab, trees and contrasting white and black.
She later began working with recurring themes related to multicultural symbolism and feminine spirituality.
Guerresi said that she had the desire to express herself through art after converting to Islam. “I didn’t want to work or produce any form of art that doesn’t really represent me and reflect who I am,” she said.
Qaswra H. Hafez, owner of Hafez Gallery, said that the gallery hosts six exhibitions each season at its hall in addition to external exhibition, either in Arab cities or international scenes.
“Now, of course, the priority is for Saudi artists, but, in every season, we make sure to feature one international artist to introduce his/her work to the Saudi art connoisseurs,” he said.
The solo exhibition runs through Jan. 25 at the gallery: 6559 King Abdul Aziz Road, Al-Zahra District, Jeddah.