Ayman Saadawy and the Nile
Ayman Saadawy’s most recent artistic experience (May 2016) is a contemporary reflection of the artist’s self-confidence and the spirit that takes you to the realm of his memories. Saadawi’s sculptures share some similar aspects, but are always saturated with a genuine Egyptian identity.
His experience rests on several elements: the balance of his work, its presence and its freshness. Furthermore he captures the viewer by addressing his visual memories.
Though Saadawy’s eyes are used to different styles of different sculptors, as he contributed to the process of these sculptors’ technical production and exhibitions, he was never influenced by them. Instead, he tackled issues related to his persona, his origin, his background, and his own environment. In fact, he dug deep into his memories from childhood to adolescence, while reviving stories, games, vocabularies, events and fun times.
He visited a virtual place resembling the reality of his younger days that are engraved in his memory, and divided it by a thin line between the urban and that which is rural. He featured simple means of transportations, including motorbikes and livestock. He also portrayed individuals he once knew and lived with: a joyful boy, a cheerful girl, a beautiful woman, a working lady, a wandering young girl, a miserable youth, a well-built man...people from all walks of the life he has lived.
Dreamy girls with beautiful features and expressive looks are charmingly portrayed, in addition to playful children on livestock , bathing in canals amidst agricultural lands.
This latest exhibition by Ayman Saadawy, "The Nile", is a spatial turning point in his Art journey, one that does not transcend his philosophy in addressing his community.
His focal point is the Nile and how it impacts Egyptian day-to-day life and its effects on the vibrant human activity around it.
Sadaawy’s previous exhibition addressed a totally different concept; that of games toys and tools used by children, for entertainment... whereas
This exhibition takes a more serious note on human activity than his earlier exhibitions, focusing on fishermen whose only source of income is the river itself. With his usual distinctive dexterity, he insists once more to use bronze (the noble material), in addition to other mediums such as the Egyptian green marble used in "The Nile Bride". "The Nile Bride" showcases an Egyptian well-dressed girl proudly seated on deck of a stone boat whose bow and rear take the shape of the famous Egyptian papyrus.
Saadawy also uses black granite from Aswan in “The Boat”. The body of the boat is in granite, while the bow is lotus-like and the rear is in the shape of Anubis head.
In this Exhibition, Saadawy displayed a collection of boats boarding the Nile throughout Egypt, differing in shapes and usage. He tackled the relationship between men and women as partners in society in need to collaborate together to pursue such an activity as fishing. Saadawy also featured the relationship between fishermen and their main livestock, the guard dog, which is generally used as a companion to fishermen and shepherds. The use of the dog for company has roots in ancient Egyptian history in which Anubis played a crucial role. However, one of the works that is close to my heart is the fisherman in movement- throwing the net, while another favorite is the fisherman on the bank of the river holding a fishhook, surrounded by cats looking forward to a fish meal. Saadawy managed to portray the sense of vigorousness, excitement, hope and determination in the act of throwing the net, reflected in the fisherman himself. His distinctive dexterity is also apparent in larger sculptures of fishermen in which he excelled portraying the anatomy of the human body.
Observing Saadawy's art will be transports his viewers to a truly Egyptian world down to its smallest detail, thus creating a relationship between his art and the viewer. His works are authentic and real, emphasizing the warmth that characterizes his art.
Saadawy's skills are apparent in his sculptures they are stationary or in movement, due to his firm grasp of anatomy, and his awareness of proportions and scales.
Saadawy is able to convey the ambience of the setting around his sculptures and not just through his work itself. He starts forming the mass of clay form point zero, while using his imagination to produce the final work of art embodying his skills technical skills as well as his mindful concept . The best example of this is again the piece featuring the fisherman throwing the net . This work embodies both movement and expression ... this allows the fisherman's spirit to move around the work thus creating s dialogue between the work and the viewer
This quick review may not suffice to describe Saadawy's artistic experience, competence and skills that are of a true Egyptian identity in the contemporary sculpture art scene.
Yasser Gad November 2017