Tree of life
Yasmine El Hazek likes to relate her artwork to people, places, and environments that have an impact on her life. She uses mixed media to connect different aspects of her surroundings to send a unified message. Painting on velvet fabric and sculpting in bronze diversifies her illustrative work. In this exhibition, you will find a prominent motif: trees.
Trees are living organisms that harbor feelings and are affected by their surroundings. They give us the oxygen we breathe, and bear fruit for us to eat. They give us comfort, as it is said that there is a positive impact on our emotions by being in their presence. Despite the many benefits they have to offer, humans have had a rocky relationship with trees. We cut them down to make furniture, paper, and fire, and are endangering them in doing so. We forget that planting and nurturing them is more beneficial to our livelihood than cutting them down and using their lumber.
In her latest exhibition, Yasmine El Hazek revives the importance of trees by reminding us how alike we are to them, and how much we need them. She gives faces to trees and their branches, personifying the similarities between us and them. They are also displayed in their natural connection to humans; as a place of solace in the treehouse, a playful creature to be climbed, even a comforting one to be hugged, as some yoga practices do to release negativity. Trees represent solid foundations, and their branches and roots intertwine to signify connections within the family. Her use of resin in the sculptures adds light, representing the source of life.
The underlying message of this exhibition is that we humans should aspire to be more like trees: grounded with solid roots, while still having parts that dance in the wind and look up to the sky.