CAIRO: “You imagine this quiet house in this quiet place and you want to be there. I always wanted to live in a house by the sea, says artist Sherine Abdelbaki, currently exhibiting at the El Sawy Culture Wheel. Her landscape paintings take you to those quiet places in nature where you’d like to stay for a while, where you can simply enjoy the peace. In one dreamy painting, three small white houses are perched on a desert hill that sweeps down to a blue expanse of water below. In another, a path leads through sun-dappled grass to a white house nestled in the midst of trees. “I’m inspired by the beauty of nature and colors. I see color in everything, says Abdelbaki, who often begins a painting by simply putting color on canvas and seeing where it leads her.
She prefers painting in oils, because this gives her the freedom to make changes as the colors inspire her to form a scene.
“I start with colors and then the colors move me, the artist says. Abdelbaki’s colors are the serene blues of the sea, the lush greens of a palm grove and the golden shades of the desert. Her paintings depict those moments of quiet beauty in nature that we often wish we could freeze-frame. Several paintings in this show capture that fleeting instant at sunset when the whole sky glows in a wash of orange. Another lovely work inspired by El Arish shows dawn breaking over the seashore, when the dark indigo sky is streaked with the first pink rays of sunlight. There are no people in Abdelbaki’s paintings, but the human presence is understood to be ourselves, the spectators viewing these scenes. This is Abdelbaki’s first solo exhibit. Formerly senior trade advisor at the Netherlands Embassy and then advisor to the Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieddin, Abdelbaki began painting five years ago, and says she is only inspired to paint when she is feeling peaceful and happy. Her paintings are infused with those same feelings of calm serenity, which transfer themselves to the viewer. Abdelbaki is a new talent well worth discovering.
Sherine Abdelbaki’s exhibit continues until Friday, May 19 at El Kelma Hall, El Sawy Culture Wheel, end of 26th of July St., Zamalek. Tel: 736 8881.