doing well with victoria

The Cairo daydream

Interview with the Egyptian artist Ghada Mourad
Some female artists of the Middle East and MENA origin are presented in modern and contemporary art, usually these artists live in Western societies, for instance, Shirin Neshat, famous contemporary artist of Iranian origin, formed and based in United States. Now it's the time to uncover opinions of female artists rooted in the Arab world.
Richard Avedon. Gabrielle Chanel and Suzy Parker dressed by Chanel, Paris, January 1959
Ghada Mourad. Daydream. Acrylic on Canvas. 80x60 cm. 2020 © Ghada Mourad
Being female artist in an Arab country
Hello, Ghada Mourad!
As a representative of more or less European culture, probably, I see different aspects, but what I saw on your paintings were transfers between abstract and figurative in the body imagery. Is the question of body important to Arab women? In what sense? Tell me please more about this in context of your artworks.
The woman in my opinion, she is the inspiration that the artist expressed on the walls and I consider her the most beautiful creature God made on the Earth. The body of the woman - and I am expressing it in my paintings - not only for the definition of being a body, - it's a different humanitarian characteristic for the society here, in Egypt. Woman having natural active personality is respected in this society.
Do you see any links of your style with African art? What's the tradition of Egyptian art that you feel belonging to?
I am the daughter of that continent full of colours, movements, shining sun and the running Nile. I am effected by the period of my youth spent with Dad in Uganda and Kenya, there I discovered the meaning of bright green color for me. I realised that the meaning of everything must get to it's natural bases, I saved the flexible free movements in my mind and imagination. I mean I noticed, so I understood. I have been effected by ancient Egyptian art since the moment I visited the Egyptian museum and was surprised by the creations of great artists, then my aesthetic surprises continued. I am a mixture of different cultures I passed through, this is my identity that shaped me.
Art or life?
Life and art are two faces of one coin. Life is shaping the artist's personality. The artist stores what he sees, he feeds his eyes from life. In my opinion, life and art is a partnership affected in art.
How do you see your place in contemporary Egyptian art? Do you think about yourself as about fine or contemporary artist if this difference is important for Egypt?
I am an abstract artist and a photographer searching for the newest. But the newest is transferring in a quality movement. I do my best to find right lining and coloring way to express my ideas and imaginary. And regarding contemporary art in Egypt, it flourished in Egypt around three decades ago as development of the strong modern art movement which had begun here in 1908.
Tell me more please about your education and artistic way.
I was so quiet child, good in looking at everything around myself, small or big, into details. And by that, I got the good photographical memories and life information. I was drawing since I was young. And there were those who supported me during this process. Playing with me, with these toys that I was creating from paper. I was playing with the toys that I was creating for myself. I believe that the child when he plays, part of his toy must be a talent of this child. I studied at The Faculty of Arts in Cairo. This is an ancient institution. What opened my brain lockers shaped in it? It was an autumn exhibition of 2000, the first experience between me and the audience. I was happy about it. My works lasted and I was discovering myself till I became a member in Al Masar gallery that gave me a real chance to show my work projects along with some of the bright stars of fine arts in Egypt. 20 years of calmness and continuing work.
Ghada Mourad. Daydream. Acrylic on Canvas. 80x60 cm. 2020 © Ghada Mourad
Ghada Mourad. Daydream. Acrylic on Canvas. 80x60 cm. 2020 © Ghada Mourad
Ghada Mourad. Daydream. Acrylic on Canvas. 80x60 cm. 2020 © Ghada Mourad
Do you have a studio and work on a regular basis? Or do you prefer a project work?

Yes, I have a studio shared with my husband and I work continuously.


I was really impressed by Ghada's attitude to family questions and possibility of non-competitive coexistence with the other artist.
You are married with the artist (Essam Darwish - edit.), how you cohabit? Do you help each other or completely separate your practices?

Yes, I am married with the artist Essam Darwish, and he is the teacher and the lover and the husband for me. Both of us are working hard and freely. We understand each other's work and respect it.
Have you dreamt to start an art dynasty?
My sons have genetics in art, but I am not forcing them in any exact direction. They have the choice in choosing their lifestyles. But I am reassured that they have the taste in art and life. That makes me feel that they are going to be creative and loyal in their work.
The exhibition of Ghada Mourad is currently on view in Al Masar Gallery in Cairo.
It will continue through the 3rd of March 2021.
  • Victoria Marchenkova
    Artist, columnist
Thanks to AL MASAR GALLERY and personally Waleed Abdulkhalek for introduction to Egyptian art
Photo credit. Portrait of columnist Victoria Marchenkova - Anna Shubnikova
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