Solos In Parallel | “Messenger Bird” By Ihab Lotfy
The exciting addition is sponsored by Photopia, a hub for photographers in Egypt, both aspiring and professional.
Photopia, which offers a range of photography services including studio space, workshops, courses, equipment, bookstore, and library, was established by photography enthusiasts Marwa Abu Leila and Karim El Khadem for the purpose of providing a venue for the expanding photography community in Egypt.
Let’s meet the four Egyptian fine art photographers, Mohamed Ezz, Nelly Sharkawy, Nourhan Refaat Mayoof and Lubna Abdel Aziz.
Mohamed Ezz has been participating in photography shows for years, but “nothing like the Artists of Tomorrow show,” he says. “This show will offer a different exposure. Before we used to exhibit for the sake of exhibiting and not to appeal to customers in the business sense,” he explains. This new experience has prompted Ezz to look at his work from a different angle, and ask himself pertinent questions like, “Is this something someone would like to buy?” As a result, Ezz’s work selection for the Artists of Tomorrow exhibition is new, “I am looking at more details in the work in a way I never did before.”
“I have some work called Downtown that will be exhibited, a collection of 24 small-scale pictures that were all taken downtown. It was a challenge to look at downtown in a different way and to recreate the old feel of film photography using a mobile phone and no complicated equipment.”
“My other work at the Artists of Tomorrow exhibition is digital photography. It is based on a memory card that underwent a technical malfunction causing it to overlap the pictures in a random way and color edit in a peculiar way as well. I was able to create a collection out of this glitch.”
Nourhan Refaat Mayoof began her foray into fine art photography in 2010 in a small corner of her bedroom, and has since participated in several group exhibitions. A self-proclaimed storyteller, Refaat creates self-portraits and photo-series with a narrative. “I am participating in the Artists of Tomorrow exhibition at Arts Mart Gallery with four self-portraits, each one of them telling a different story, each one of them partly staged,” says Mayoof.
“I am also participating with a photo series that is a documentary titled A Walk into the Future, it tells the story of a deserted home in Korba. Nothing was moved or manipulated in this series,” she says. Although the series features an old home, Mayoof titled it A Walk into the Future to represent the inevitable: that the future of any space is human abandonment and decay.
“I participated in many exhibitions and public sector shows, as well as in several exhibitions at art centers. I also took part in shows outside of Egypt like a photography exhibition in Budapest. Arts Mart Gallery is a different venue; we’re being exposed to a different audience. Other exhibits have been targeting other artists or art communities, with Arts Mart Gallery, however, the audience is not just artists, but collectors and art lovers, I am looking forward to receiving feedback from them and hearing their perspective on my work coming from a non-artistic background. My work is mostly story telling, I am excited to listen to new stories from new and different perspectives.”
Nelly Sharkawy has exhibited her work in several shows like the Youth Salon, “It was mainly to show my work with no objective of selling, it was more about receiving awards,” she says. Sharkawy participated in an exhibit at Westown Hub as well as Sawy Culture Wheel and Darb 1718, “These were small and temporary shows, but were still a great experience.”
“With Arts Mart Gallery, the dimension of selling artists’ work adds something extra and different to the show, plus it’s an entirely different audience made up of artists and non-artists as well as collectors. The gallery space is huge and very impressive.”
“I am participating in the Artists of Tomorrow exhibition with 6 photos. Four of them are conceptual, double-exposure photos that are abstract and reliant more on composition. They are all in black and white and are currently hanging at the Arts Mart Gallery. I am adding documentary color photography to that so that there is a variety to the work I’m exhibiting.”
Hailing from Alexandria, Lubna Abdelaziz comes from a graphic design background, a skill that infuses her fine-art photography work with strong technical know-how. Abdelaziz has participated in many local and international group exhibitions and has received several awards and accolades. “One of the photographs I am exhibiting at the Artists of Tomorrow will also be exhibited in Dubai later this month, I am very excited about that,” she says.
“I am participating in Artists of Tomorrow exhibition with 8 photographs, the main one is called She and is part of a series out of which 2 photographs are being exhibited. My fine art photography work comes across to its viewers as paintings. The Majority of my work is self-portraits, I tell a story through my pictures, and I choose a scene from this story and capture it, the captured moment prompts questions like, ‘Where did the subject just come from, and where is she going now?’”