Virtual Garden by the artist Soad Abdel Rasoul
Soad Abdel Rasoul’s world looks like a magical world in one of those legends where the witch casts a spell to put everyone in deep sleep until a knight, the saviour, comes along to restore them to life and brings brightness and splendour to the universe.
Isolated creatures in a surreal world with unrecognisable shape or place, sometimes as wide as the cosmos, gloomy and endless, and other times shrinking until it becomes like an empty cell confined within silent walls.
The characters do not suggest any type of movement, despite having different positions. It is as if time has passed them by, leaving them frozen in their place. Sometimes with plants growing around them, restricting and restraining them, so that they become ever more isolated and secluded. At other times, the plants grow from their hearts, removed from their chests, or from their wide open mouths, as if the plants are speaking and pulsating on behalf of those frozen, helpless creatures.
As she stresses the isolation of this legendary world from its surroundings, the artist employs the frame as part of the language of form and a visual tool. The frame becomes like a fence that is difficult to overcome, or a barrier that is impossible to penetrate.
“As we are formed from dust, how is it that flowers do not sprout in us?”Soad Abdel Rasoul
Artist Soad Abdel Rasoul raises this question in the introduction to her exhibition. This question might give us a glimpse of light to unravel the mysteries of her legendary world, and to make us wonder whether art follows the logic of things as we know them in the world in which we live, or whether it creates its own world and inner logic. Is it part of our pains, dreams, aspirations, or frustrations, or does it create its own private and intimate feelings? And, therefore, do the creatures of the artist’s world resemble us and our world at least in some qualities, or are they unique and individual, and it is up to us as viewers to try to understand this world as it is without projecting ourselves upon it? And more importantly, does the artist create his own world consciously or is he a psychic recalling it by the magic of art and the spell of visual language?
Soad Abdel Rasoul does not give us answers, but raises questions. She does not tickle our feelings, but shocks them. We do not pass by her paintings, but she pulls us to stop before them to contemplate and question and, if we look harder, we will find within their layers that saviour who will restore life to this legendary world and wake it up from its deep sleep.
Text by Samir Fouad
Translated by Victoria Cornacchia