CAIRO: Sculptures by Egyptian artist Nagi Farid are currently on display at Cairo’s Ubuntu Art Gallery as part of his “Silent Conversations” exhibition, which runs until March 13.
“Most of the works were created during the past year when we were staying at home because of pandemic. They were inspired by the restrictions on who we could interact with, where we could go and when, and the shock of having to hide from something we couldn’t even see,” Farid told Arab News.
“We experienced long periods of time alone and in silence during the lockdowns. Day turned to night, and seasons came and went, but the situation stayed the same. We had the opportunity to meditate.”
The statues on display, made of bronze and granite, are representations of the inaudible conversation between nature and man, with the latter’s memories pushing the dialogue forward.
“At the end of the day, this virus is a part of nature, and man interacts with nature in everything he does, in one way or another. These simple conversations are of our memories of freedom and our longing for a less restricted life than what we are currently experiencing,” Farid explained.
Farid’s works are being showcased alongside an exhibition of paintings by Sudanese artist Mutaz Elemam, titled “The Survivors.”
Of the choice to host two simultaneous exhibitions that delve into the human psyche, curators Ahmed Eldabaa (owner of the Ubuntu Art Gallery) and Nadya Shanab (its managing director) said: “Art has always documented people’s experiences. The artist manipulates his own experience or perspective and reflects it through his creations. The works of Nagi and Mutaz are their own commentaries on this tough period of time we are all going through across the world — silence, isolation and the challenge of survival.
“Pairing these two exhibitions together was an opportunity to show how the same experience can inspire different people and be viewed in different ways,” they add.
Born 1964, Nagi Farid is an award-winning artist and member of the Supreme Council of Culture and the Plastic Arts Syndicate in Egypt. His work has been displayed locally and internationally, including at the National and International Ceramics Biennials (between 1994 and 2002), the 2005 Venice Biennial, and the 2001 Sarajevo Winter Festival.