Art Alert: Painting exhibition El-Refai explores snake charmers

Ahram Online , Tuesday 7 Jul 2015

A painting exhibition titled El-Refai by artist Lena Ashraf to open at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo

Lena Ashraf
Part of promotional poster for Lena Ashraf's solo exhibit El-Refai. (photo: event Facebook page)

Artist Lena Ashraf will hold a week long solo painting exhibition titled El-Refai, that draws on the ancient tradition of snake charmers in Egypt.

In El-Refai, the artist presents a series of paintings that touch upon the practice of snake charming, its place in Egyptian culture over the ages, the boldness it requires, and also compares it to the practice of creating art.

Ashraf is based in Moscow, where she was born to Egyptian parents, and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in art.

She then pursued cinema art at Moscow’s High institute for Cinema.

Ashraf, who is also a photographer, worked as a set and costume designer in a number of student Russian film productions as well as professional films.

As an artist, Ashraf participated in many exhibits in Russia, including the Moscow Biennale for Contemporary Art in 2011, with two projects, Gelatin and Balsam.

In 2014 she joined an exhibit in Paris titled La Folle Sagesse, centering on the life of the artist Vincent Van Gogh, and recently held a solo exhibit in Cairo at the Russian Cultural Institute.


The exhibit will open 11 July at 9 pm and will run until 18 July. Opening hours are from 10 – 2 pm and from 9 to 12 am.

Exhibition hall at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Zamalek, Cairo


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