Salah El Mur, The defeat, 2018. Acrylic on canvas 120x175 cm. © Copyright the artist. Courtesy Mashrabia Gallery

Solo show of Salah El Mur at Mashrabia gallery

Salah El Mur is having currently a solo show at Mashrabia Gallery in Cairo. The exhibition includes paintings and sculptures.

Artist’s statement

I was born in one of the villages on the western bank of the blue Nile. I grew up with crochet designs knitted by my mother. Images of imaginary animals, men and women in love, circles and triangles entwining endlessly, with colours no one but me could see. That’s how my eyes were opened to the world. And from my grandfather’s patience, skillfulness and strength in making fishing nets, I’ve learnt that patience has a taste of honey made from the nectar of lemon flowers.

As a child, I started to scribble before saying my first words. I used to read characters in between the lines, circles and triangles of my mother’s depictions.

I get inspired by everything around me. A woman moaning, or making joyful sounds (Zaghareed); music playing in a cab; drawings painted in white chalks on a white wall by a passerby; unfinished drawings of a child; a woman with clothes daring the street’s looks, and another one walking timidly; a man’s perfect Jalabyya  embroidered perfectly, or recklessly, on the sleeves. Memories stuck in the mind when the Russian Circus presented unforgettable performances in the public park to local people.
All that and other comes to me while in front of the white canvas stretched on the wooden frame.

Salah El Mur
Salah El Mur, Under a shadow of a statue, 2018. Acrylic on canvas 185x185 cm. © Copyright the artist. Courtesy Mashrabia Gallery.
Salah El Mur, Under a shadow of a statue, 2018. Acrylic on canvas 185×185 cm. © Copyright the artist. Courtesy Mashrabia Gallery.

Born in Sudan, Cairo-based artist Salah El Mur spent years travelling and living across East Africa and the Middle East. Moving between different geographical places and nationalities, El Mur has a rich and diverse background while maintaining a distinctive and peculiar Sudanese identity to the extent of becoming a flagship of Sudanese art. His paintings portray a variety of heterogeneous traditions, folklore, vernaculars of people and environments, yet translated into a powerful contemporary visual language.

His works feature strong colours, which recall the people and traditions of his homeland and reproduce his exploration of the streets, cities and villages he came across throughout his life. Though his depictions do not include significant events or action, each character seems to conceal a story behind it. Elmur’s distinctive style is figurative yet abstract. In El Mur’s works, components are decontextualized and appear recombined together in new unfathomable and appealing scenarios, equipped with mysterious symbols.  Not only a painter, Elmur is also a filmmaker, photographer, illustrator and sculptor. His works can be found in public and private collections in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America. 

Solo exhibition of Salah El Mur
Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art
On view until June 2019

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