Pulse exhibition steals the show at Designopolis

Farah Montasser, Monday 17 Oct 2011

Young Egyptian artists seize rare opportunity to display their work in an art scene dominated by established names


Forty seven young Egyptian artists have wowed audiences at an exhibition entitled Pulse, which opened at the Tache Art gallery on Saturday 15 October.

The exhibition, organised by Tache Art, features photographers, contemporary painters, and sculptors. Malak El-Shazly, gallery manager and one of the exhibiting artists, tells Ahram Online, “The Pulse exhibition aims to open paths for young Egyptian artists to present their work and get recognised.”

Such platforms are rare in Egypt, El-Shazly claims. “Young artists find it difficult to exhibit in Egypt because galleries won’t invest in new talent. They mainly focus on big names and well-established artists.” 

El-Shazly’s first exhibition was in Dubai. “Ara Gallery in Dubai invited young Arab artists to participate in one of its exhibitions called 'Raising the Stereotype' and luckily my work was chosen to be displayed,” she says.

Out of 90 applications, only 47 artists were selected to take part at Pulse. “We asked the renowned Egyptian artist Mohamed Abla to join our selection panel to decide among our finalists,” she tells Ahram Online. “Abla helped pick the best artwork presented to make Pulse happen,” she explains.

In her piece in the exhibition, El-Shazly mixes painting with photography to make a collage. “I normally start off with a composition that creates the entire atmosphere and blend in other layers; a technique I learned from artist Hany Rashid,” she explains.

Among the other exhibiting artists is Alia Montasser. Although it is her first exhibition, gallery goers have admired her creativity. Montasser chose books as the media for her artwork. “I always look for alternative purposes for any material I have and turn it into a piece of art,” she tells Ahram Online.  “I gathered some of my old books, joined them together and made small sculptures out of them.” On three layers of books, Montasser drew a gypsy dancing. She calls this "a revolutionary recycling technique made artistically easy."

Also inspired by the layering technique, Hanya El-Azzouni makes her debut displaying a piece that captures the eyes of many admirers. She chose a photo and a small canvas blended together on a larger canvas in her “Tale of Two Cities” piece. In it, El-Azzouni captures the essence of Cairo, mixing its revolution in Tahrir Square and other parts of the city. She depicts its chaotic traffic, its history, its monuments and Al-Azhar, and says, “Cairo is a beautiful mess… a chaos, but it is our home.”

With a variety of artistic voices and colours, Pulse is inspiring and cheerful, underscoring the creativity and dynamism of the young artists. 

Pulse will run until 14 November.

Tache Art, S-139 Sahara Desert, 38 km Cairo/Alexandria Rd, Designopolis.

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