Thursday, February 02, 2023 | Rajab 10, 1444 H
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Complexities of a woman on canvas


She may not yet be a household name, but this emerging artist is gaining her momentum as her latest series captures the heart and eyes of art lovers in the Sultanate. Amal Ezzat, is an emerging Egyptian artist currently residing in Oman who presented her latest series ‘Endless Abstract Feelings’ at her exhibition hosted by the Centre Franco-Omanais in association with the French Embassy held Tuesday evening.

The event was inaugurated by Ambassador of Egypt Sabri Magdy Sabri and French Embassy Chargé d’affaires Jean-Paul Ghoneim and attended by some of the country’s art lovers and enthusiasts.

Her art reflected her multifaceted talent through her artistic use of colours, mediums and canvases and even recycled hardware and paper. Georgia O’Keeffe, a 20th Century American painter once said, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way--things I had no words for.”

Abstract art is said to be a visual language. A set of shapes, colours, mediums and things in an arrangement without rules. It gives a sense of freedom, freedom to the artist to express in any way they like and freedom to the viewer, who have the agency to form their own interpretations of the art they see.

Amal shared what her inspirations were behind her abstract work.

She said, “I went through a phase in my life, a phase where one obstacle followed the other. For a time, the troubles didn’t stop, one struggle followed the other and I found myself stuck in a rut of struggles.”

“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.” Words famously said by an inspiring woman like Amal herself, Frieda Kahlo captured the essence of the abilities of art to express an individual’s life.

Amal finally found solace in expressing her previously trapped emotions through her visual art. The paint became the language of choice, the art her expressions and the canvas her diary.

The journey of a complex artist on canvas

In one of her pieces she called ‘Beyond the news,’ it was easy to understand where Amal was coming from when she said that she went through troubles one after the other.

Spanning about three years for the whole collection to be completed, this particular piece spoke volumes about her — the momentary peace represented by the large chunks of blue covered by an array of paper signifying passage of time and the tension brought and even caused by erupting streaks of darkness coming to the surface.

The piece made of collage and acrylic on canvas automatically says Amal — soft-spoken, shy yet beyond the surface are complexities not only of a woman trying to make her way into the world but a transformation of sort into becoming an adult and the challenges she has to face to grow.

One of her series comprised of three artworks — ‘Confused’, ‘It’s a new way’ and ‘Lost’ were also strong depiction of her emotional and physical journey. ‘Confused’ shows a figure pushing against a symbolic boundary. ‘It’s a new way’ signifies her discovery and her love for abstract and ‘Lost’, a hand reaching out from the dark, sends the message that hers wasn’t an easy path and even in the end, even after discovering something new, she still has trouble navigating the waters of her life.

There are dozens of other pieces on display and for the Omanis, she has specially created ‘Oman in the heart 1 and 2’ — black and white creation that amalgamated different scenes of Oman strategically placing black and white paint which yielded a 3D effect. The more one looks at these pieces, that more one would see that they are hiding many other details.

With a Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) with special attention to mural paintings, Amal’s collection was an entertaining and educational time travel experience — an opening up to the world and letting it see her vulnerability. Her exhibition was an acceptance of her faults and owning up her experiences and not shying away that they happen.

Helping her find an audience

Amal’s exhibition owed its success to the Centre Franco-Omanais(CFO) who recognized Amal’s potential and gave her an opportunity to showcase her works in its halls.

CFO was set up in 1979 as a result of the two countries interests in cooperating in fields of education and culture. Besides offering language workshops and classes, CFO also hosts a variety of exhibitions, conferences, cine-debates and children’s movies that provide people in Oman a platform to learn and interact with diverse groups of people and their culture.

Today, CFO has become a renowned institution giving people the opportunity to study and learn French and get to know more about the Republic of France and their relationship with the Sultanate.

For the past 4 years, CFO has been regularly giving various artists an opportunity to host their exhibitions, promoting them to display their work solo or sometimes with other artists. They focus on artists that display diversity with style and mediums and even other visual arts like sculpture and photography.

Amal Ezzat and her art ticked all the right boxes and more. Their interest in promoting Amal and her work talent was due to her experience and educational achievements in the arts.

Christian Adam de Villiers, chairman of the CFO and a patron of the arts, shared that he believes in the importance of providing budding artists a platform.

He said, “It is very important to host artistic works created by people having so diverse experiences to express and share with others. In a world in which the communication is everywhere-anytime, it is precious to give to the people the occasion of meeting creators and their creations, whishing that it could lead to true encounters.”

If one is interested in visiting the gallery, all exhibitions hosted are open to the public. The exhibits usually run for two or three weeks from the inaugural date. Their full time gallery is free to visit and open from 9am —1pm and 2 pm — 7 pm.

Titash Chakraborty & YERU EBUEN

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