My Favorite Things started in 2016 as a small group exhibition, showing the artworks of 3 chosen women artists; featured by Mashrabia as the revelation of the season. In due course, “My Favorite Things” became an inclusive annual exhibition promoting and supporting up and coming women artists in Egypt. Its main aim is to guarantee for women to have a permanent and safe space, for exposure and free expression, keeping a high artistic quality based on originality and innovative thought. There is no restriction to themes, as we seek authentic artwork that is most true, essentially reflecting subjects of great importance to the artists. This year selection includes 13 women artists, mostly participating for the first time. Their contributions give us a refreshing idea about what is contemporary art now in Egypt.
26 اكتوبر - 23نوفمبر
يسعدنا بقاعة المشربية للفن المعاصر استضافة معرضنا " أشيائي المفضلة " لسادس سنة علي التوالي مع مجموعة من الفنانات , حيث بدأ معرض أشيائي المفضلة كمعرض صغير في 2016 يضم ثلاثة من الاعمال المختارة لثلاثة فنانات
الا انه مع مرور الوقت تطور الى ان اصبح معرض هدفه الاساسي دعم و اعطاء مساحة آمنة للفنانات للتعبير عن رأيهم و ما يؤمنون به
المعرض لا يقتصر على مواضيع محددة بل يطمح لعرض أعمال صادقة تعكس كل ما هو مهم لكل فنانة
تتشرف مشربية بعرض اعمال لثلاثة عشر فنانة معظمهم يشارك للمرة الاولى في أشيائي المفضلة ,مشاركاتهم هذه السنة تعطينا تصور جديد عن ما اصبح عليه الفن المعاصر الآن في مصر.
Artist: Habiba Hazem
There’s always room for dessert but In my world, there’s always room for cats. Making art makes me create the world I wish was true, painting cats in them because I believe they deserve a much better world than the one we live in. In this series I painted cats alone on a canvas for everyone to put them in the world they see fit. In my artwork I see anxiety and exploration,I put rough brush strokes to a tranquil painting to give them a sense of reality by adding the brutality of the real world. The main inspiration here is pets and how we all think we know the best when in reality we barely know ourselves. At the end of the day, all I want is for my art to be seen and to lead someone to a world of their own imagination.
Artist : Hanya Al-Ghamry
Contemporary Ruins Series ( Risophotographs - Digital Paintings - Video )
It could be argued that most people interpret information from a finite perspective, conditioned by personal, social, and historical circumstances, with no way of transcending to an all-inclusive objective viewpoint. Through the lens of subjectivity, influence, subordination, and resistance, this series questions our finite belief and culturally transmitted information systems that are developed throughout the years by the influence of soft power on a personal and cultural scale. It is an attempt to understand the dynamism between the controlled and the controller in different soft power relationships, dealing with memory, history, archive, the possibility of tracking down absences, and reclaiming the soft power in the form of resistance and resilience.
Artist : Aya Gamil
I saw that the only way to accept the violations that I see in society and what I personally experience is to paint, to draw myself and the experiences around me every day without filtering or deception and even without clarification. I discovered that I cannot change the reality of how women live in my society, but painting my own reality helps me to live with it and sometimes accept it.
Artist : Fatma Heiba
A video installation: On a late summer day walk, abandonment was consciously felt for the first time but the migraine aura; a chronic condition, disrupted it into fragments of abandonment mixed with the urge to extract every recalled incident of abandonment from the memory and the damage it caused. The migraine didn’t cause pain but feelings and thoughts of abandonment did. The migraine only altered vision with kaleidoscopic auras. Could sense alteration be disabling or liberating? Allowing us to experience remote perception from neurotypical and typical able body perceptions. How far from the natural setting could a sense alteration take us? What is a natural setting? Is abandonment present in a natural setting? Could the presence of plants and water ease the pain?
Artist : Farida Rady and Sarah Sarofim
is a series consisting of three double-exposure photos, “Arabian Gulf, Cairo Tower,” “Abu Dhabi Corniche, Nile Corniche,” and “Mina, Maadi,” taken in January-February 2021 in Abu Dhabi and March-April 2021 in Cairo. Seeking a tangible connection in a friendship that has grown mostly within the confines of the pandemic, Farida Rady and Sarah Sarofim double-exposed a roll of 35mm Kodak Tri-X 400. Through this process, we overlaid moments we witnessed and explored the intimacies, uncertainties, and potentialities of this shared experience that transcended temporal and spatial restrictions. Given that we had agreed to shoot the roll intuitively, with no shared orientation or theme, we were surprised to see unexpected and harmonious coincidences in form and substance in many of the photos. In a time of fragmentation, isolation, and digitization, the embodied experience of walking and photographing on film, both inherently slow methods that demand an attunement to sounds, textures, and light in the city, offering a chance to intentionally connect to the spaces we moved through. The photographs express and contain a contemplative spirit. As we documented moments that captured our attention, we considered how our compositions may relate to another photograph, leading to an unknown result. We created this project over the course of six months, as we slowed down to look around and notice what we were drawn to. The slow process was augmented by the movement of the film roll itself - gifted to Farida in Toronto in the summer of 2020, it traveled from Toronto to Abu Dhabi for its first exposure, was transported to Cairo for its second exposure, and finally returned to Toronto for development in the spring of 2021. Considering that borders are less permeable than usual, the film canister was also subject to pandemic restrictions and rhythms. In the context of the fleeting and often ephemeral nature of this contemporary crisis, analog photography and this specific exploration grounded us and allowed us to explore a sense of tangibility and connection.
Artist: Nouran Mohsen
The Unseen eye
I am drawn to what lies beneath the surface of the human psyche, and what is just beyond the horizon, unseen and neglected. This sculpture turns the eye inward and into the mechanisms of our bodies, it is composed of the formation of photoreceptors in the human eye as the main inspiration. Viewing this work creates a loop of looking at how our biological structure allows us to glimpse the world whilst we examine it with that very same design. It also carries the distinction between the function of seeing and the actual process of perceiving, for every mind discerns what they observe differently. What we comprehend from the information we visually receive is detrimental to our lives, it is what shapes our views, beliefs, and morals.
Artist: Alia Bassiony
Wounded Birds Can’t Fly
I’m a bird, A wounded bird trapped in time, a very peculiar time. Being stuck in a cage, my wings can’t carry me anywhere. Sometimes I feel that time has frozen in that one dark moment and other times I feel everything around me is moving very fast and passing by.
My cage and my thoughts are all that I have.
Artist: Somaya Nour El-Din
THE MAP OF THE HOUSE
I always lose my way home. Therefore, I usually concentrate on the things which will lead me to it. Any person away from their usual environment sees their surroundings differently and focuses on the simplest of details. I take photos of these things which will bring me home and connect me to the new environment … my temporary home Italy.
Artist: Yasmine Shash
The submitted collection is part of "Retreat" a continuous project I have been working on since the end of 2019. In September 2019, I quit my job, in response to a nagging gut feeling that has persisted since I was an undergraduate student minoring in visual arts, all the way through my professional career for ten years in the field of international law and human rights. I retreat into a studio with the aim of producing art as a total vocation on a full-time basis. While retreat may insinuate defeat, it is not necessarily about escaping from somewhere, but rather about going somewhere, to a place for safety and refuge – a place that presupposes the ability to imagine an alternative.
In my retreat in my studio, the only choice I had was to trust the process. The process of looking within the walls of my studio and within me to find and articulate what has been waiting to be expressed. I look closer at my immediate surroundings, I look closer at my volatile emotional states and I look closer at the mundane objects around me, and through them, I express, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly this transformation I go through.
I experiment with drawing, relief printmaking, and oil painting.
The work takes on a minimalistic artistic approach to match the stillness and peacefulness characteristic of the journey into retreat. One black vivid line is set free and runs through the drawings, prints, and paintings and I trust its process. The result is this line-based collection, which is sometimes straightforward figurative but often carries in its ambiguity of various emotional states.
The drawings are an entanglement of lines, the prints tell a tale in simple black and white and paintings embrace a minimal palette of two or three colors with the one original line.
This project, in all its components, is an attempt to engage this experience of the retreat, with all its uncertainties artistically. Art re-enacts the personal experience of retreat to the safety of the studio and the comfort of manual work involved in creating these pieces.
Artist: Yasmine Barakat
Yasmine Barakat paints with her body. Her acrylic landscapes, exhibited at her first solo exhibition titled “Still Water Runs' ', piece together exploration in time, of organic forms and color compositions. “Painting is a human activity”, says Yasmine when prompted about her earliest memories with the craft. To paint is far from an intellectual process, and even less so an academic one in Yasmine’s studio. She moves her body first, and the gestures come, luckily with color on her brush she marks these movements on her linen backgrounds. Brightly colored marks fall into a natural order, balancing form and emptiness. It was during her studies at Chelsea College of Arts in London, that Yasmine began to produce abstract paintings in series. In her practice, she is concerned with the potential contrast of solids and voids. She speaks through the paint of tension between motion and stillness, solids and negative lines. She views the canvas as empty space, as a body, and rather than creating the illusion of depth, her work deliberately flattens objects into a two-dimensional plane. What happens when objects are flattened? What of their nature do they lose and what does this process reveal? Her series disintegrate the sanctity of the canvas frame by gesturing onto several pieces of varying sizes at a time. Through her visceral mark-making process, she finds nature: sunsets, plants, and an amalgam of organic forms. The series is a whole, and each piece is both a unit of a body and at the same time its own singularity. To Yasmine, painting can only be manifest through the tension between a body in motion and raw material — a still body is something else. At her studio, canvases ranging from large pieces to small rests on the floor. Trinkets populate the shelves, from books on ancient Egypt to various pots, all giving a glimpse into her inspiration. Layers of opaque and translucent colors in a palette inspired by her long walks on the Mediterranean coast, which she often returns to She speaks of — and what an image — beams of light bouncing off canvases onto the walls and into our retinae. The series came to her by mistake, as she says, when she was playing with paint on unprimed linen, she began to see the hues of the old sunsets. She found herself naturally creating fractals, like veins in a body or routes on a flat map. She witnessed as she kept going, the not-so-accidental nature of familiar shapes coming to her from a collective dream. Yasmin approaches painting with the same blindness we have when approaching a dream in our sleep. She discovers her paintings rather than she would discover shells on a walk by the beach. It is that simple. As such, the landscapes playfully invite us into a world of repetition and shifting planes. Statement by: Sama Waly, a friend, an artist, and historian.
Artist: Leah Mantisanatis
a Greek-American visual artist currently living & working in Cairo, Egypt. Her work focuses on abstract figurative painting steered by her background in art history and archaeology and influenced by pattern studies from both ancient cave walls and temple architecture. The work primarily revolves around the mythic obsession of the female form, woman as “vessel”, and decontextualizing the divine as ordinary