Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art hosts “My Backyard”, a collective exhibition by five very young talents: Ahmed Yasser, Mahmoud Qabil, Marwa Atwa, Rawan Abbas and Sara Ayman.
Coming from different backgrounds, these artists ended up together spontaneously, through conversations, shared ideas and comparing notes. Now they decided to exhibit together for the first time. Encompassing a range of media, from painting and sketches to embroidery, their approaches are very different but they all tackle issues of the body and identity.
Welcoming us into their backyard, where the simplest things are the most complicated, the artists express dual emotions such as freedom and vulnerability, closeness and loneliness.
Adopting a collective voice, they have written, “We sit down… every night in our small garden, just five seats as if the world is void around us, contemplating what surrounds us in our daily routine, watching the swing in confusion… Is it swaying in response to the wind or are we sharing someone else’s fun in a parallel universe, looking at the lemon tree and asking, how does it give us its fruits so easily? If it were us, we wouldn’t present anything for free. We forget our coffee so often that it becomes our habit to enjoy it cold, joking with each other about whether coffee is originally a hot drink... the simplest things in our garden are very complicated, as they are within us.”
The exhibition is running through 15 July.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 17 June, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly