22 August 2010
India through Italian eyes
The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture in Downtown, Cairo, has recently hosted an exhibition of photographs on India entitled “India—A Journey Within”. The 44 photographs on display, taken by Nicolo Tassoni Estense, depict scenes in the everyday life of ordinary men, women and children in rural and urban India, and reflect the cultural and geographical diversity of the country. The magic of a silvery dawn when the fisherman examines his catch in the river Narmada in central India; the explosive blue and yellow of a public bus in busy Calcutta; toddlers and young children drinking, eating, lolling and gazing—all these and more were there.
Dr Estense, is a serving diplomat who took the photographs during his posting to India from 2006 to 2009. He is currently serving as the economic counsellor of the Italian Embassy in Cairo. He said the photographs were a small tribute to his beloved India.
During July and August the Cairo Opera House is holding art workshops for children aged seven to 17 to teach them skills in painting, sculpture, ceramics, calligraphy and photography. They also learn how to use mixed media materials—such as wire, art paper and fabric— to make masks.
This is the 10th year that the Opera House has been holding workshops for children.
The human model
A group exhibition featuring 15 artists and entitled “The Model” is being held at the Cordoba Art Gallery in Mohandiseen, Cairo, and runs till 1 September. The 45 paintings on display are the creations of some of the most distinguished Egyptian artists including, Mohamed Abla, Mohsen Shaalan, Ahmed Nawwar, Samir Fouad and the late Salah Taher.
The exhibition highlights, through the evolution of art in modern Egypt, the various trends in depicting the model or the human body, whether man, woman or child, but mostly woman. Woman has been the source of inspiration for many artists, who depicted her in realism, impressionism, symbolism, and the abstract.
This exhibition could be thought of as a call to revive the trend for portraying the human body; a trend that is, under pressure from fundamentalist Islamists, about to vanish from modern Egyptian art.
Guest of honour
The pastel artist Mohammed Sabri is the guest of honour at Doroub Galley exhibition which opened recently. With some 60 artists represented and some of the most epoch-making works in the history of Egyptian art, as well as younger artists, the exhibition includes sculpture and painting in various media as well as glass, puppets, mixed media and calligraphy.