Solo Exhibition "Three Eras, One Identity" at Mosaikashop Montreal - May 2014
Reflecting on my country’s long history and cultural heritage, I began reflecting on what it means to be Egyptian. Pharaonic, Jewish, Christian and Islamic roots have all contributed to shaping the Egyptian identity of today. Every age has its unique character and artistic beauty, its own set of themes, symbols During my recent life in Montreal, I developed a deep sense of nostalgia for my country, especially as I watched the revolution unfold from afar. This nostalgia transformed into an urge to identify myself as Egyptian, revealing itself in a way I had never experienced while living in Egypt. Reminiscing and motifs to identify it.
With the passing of time and the current political, social and economic challenges that Egypt has been witnessing, this rich heritage is being threatened, sometimes going by unnoticed and fading away with the history that it carries. Whether this artistic heritage was represented on textile, papyrus, mural frescoes or clay, museums are trying hard to preserve it and pass it on for generations to witness; however, many of them are not receiving the care that they deserve or are even being destroyed altogether.
I felt a need to highlight and zoom-in on some of these beautiful symbols, giving them some sense of permanence before they disappear forever from our lives. By interpreting these ancient artworks into their contemporary context, I meant to shine the light on them in a way that showcases their originality and give them a museum-like presence. Documenting and archiving such authentic pieces was a way to give them a second-life and a second chance of survival in a new and contemporary setting. Since mosaic materials are known for their durability and ability to weather the effects of time, it seemed only natural for me to use such material to create my art. Using hand-cut glass mosaics in most of my pieces, I manipulated the contrast of texture, colour and shine to give a feeling of authenticity and originality to each piece.