February 8, 2020
“What you seek is seeking you.” – Jalaluddin Rumi
As the world becomes increasingly immersed in its materialistic fury, we all need to contemplate the universe inside us.
Distancing herself from the the world’s turbulent noise, Neamat El Diwany went on a quest to reconnect to her self-awareness; an attempt to explore and understand where human beings stand between the seperate worlds of matter and soul.
The magnolias of Neamat El Diwany’s cherished tree, the first of her garden occupants, blooming wide open, offering her a gift of wisdom and a gateway to the ethereal. Thus, they have become the protagonists of her newest exhibition “When Magnolias Bloom”, taking place at Zamalek Art Gallery, from February 8th through March 3rd, 2022.
The magnolia forms different shapes and situations on her canvases to accompany her characters, who are wearing tiaras of magnolia flowers. These characters hold magnolias in their hands as they move lightly in her imaginary worlds, allowing us to freely wander through the exhibition space and merge with their journey, setting us free from the limitations of the physical world. She questions if we can choose to live freely like magnolias.
The artist adds: “I imagined the magnolias as Sufi dervishes, twirling mystically in their white dresses, reaching to the light.”
El Diwany also uses the colour white which she chose for their dresses as well as in the characters’ white aura, to depict a state of transparency.
The exhibition offers 28 paintings of different sizes, and media; varying between oil, oil and pastel on canvas, as well as mixed media on canvas.
Other aspects of her work are more hefty with details, unlike her previous exhibitions. In one of the paintings, we see one of the characters running lightly and carrying a magnolia flower, as the city buildings seem calm and quiet in the background and we see the protagonists moving inside what looks like a garden.
Neamat El Diwany was born in Havana, Cuba, and holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from John Cabot University in Rome, she also studied Art History in Italy, visited museums and galleries of Rome, Florence, Paris. She returned to Cairo in 1984 and worked at the American Embassy and also at The American University. She then pursued her art studies in 2011. In 2013, she joined Mostafa El Razzaz’ Art Studio, after that she joined the Florence Academy of Arts.
El Diwany achieved a remarkable development in her figurative language, as if she was practicing art from an early age. Her artworks are also acquired by the Egyptian Museum of Modern Art in Cairo.
“When Magnolias Bloom” is Neamat El Diwany’s fifth solo exhibition, alongside several collective exhibitions she held in Egypt and abroad.
***If you liked this article, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and receive our articles by email