26 May – 22 June
Southside Community Centre
Exhibition of Pan-African art
In African Oases Maryam Yahia Mohamed explores the diversity and richness of heritage on the African continent, through sculptures and portraits of African women.
“My project is based on the idea of the African heritage of North and South Africa and its costumes and musical instruments. I admire the ancient African civilization because of its music, ornaments, colours and impressive handicrafts. I am presenting it as a meeting of civilizations and diversity of culture, defining a part of the ancient African arts and reflecting them creatively in this work, filtering them trough my eyes and sensitivity. ”
The artist’s journey with African art began in childhood when Mohamed was attracted by colors, glaring lights, and vast landscapes. She takes her inspiration from the folklore deeply embedded in the African civilization that has lasted for thousands of years. The artist explores its richness derived from the infinite abundance of natural resources of the continent, where the Africans were able to adapt the natural resources of different types of wood, shells, rocks, shells, metals, and animal skins. Maryam uses these materials in her work to turn the traditional concepts of what is visible and invisible in myths, and rituals into art works. Inspired by the beauty of music she creates unique objects interpreting and transforming the shapes of the world’s oldest musical instruments with the contemporary touches.
“The variety attracted me to being an African-Arab, but it also made me live in worlds of imagination where I weave drawings and sculptures. I was born in Sudan, but I was raised all my life in Libya and from there I developed the traditional imagination of Andalusian and Berber art – adding the magic of the desert and the beauty of the Mediterranean – but my imagination remained intertwined with all the African diversity”.
“All this diversity and the beauty of African nature: the brightness of the sun and the warm climate created a human being with an artistic memory capable of translating the visible reality, traditions and traditional concepts.”
Maryam’s works were shown in the exhibitions affiliated with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture at Atelier Cairo, Luxor International Exhibition and in Tunisia. In the UK her work was presented during the annual Hartlepool Festival, and recently in 2021 at Edinburgh’s Summerhall.
African Oases is the artist’s first solo exhibition.