CAIRO: It’s a given that some people are harder to track down for an interview than others. After taking a few days to secure an interview with renowned artist Gazbia Sirry, and finally arriving at the fixed time, I must say that I was slightly overwhelmed. The artist, born in 1929, has an unbelievable presence, and it was obvious from the first moment that she contains a wealth of knowledge, experience and, of course, talent.
In her new exhibition entitled, “The Fantasy of Metamorphosis, Sirry is able to present Egypt’s over-population, busy streets, noisy set, crowded buildings and transforms them into beautiful masterpieces. “Even sorrowful things I put in a joyful composition, Sirry tells The Daily Star Egypt.
According to Noha Khoury, manager of the Zamalek Art Gallery where the exhibition is taking place, the particular theme of this show is focused on people and houses, and how they mix together. It is osmosis of the people of the city, their expression, especially their eyes and the structure and architecture of the city.
“In her (Sirry’s) own words she says that ‘sometimes humans become like stones and structure becomes more human,’ says Khoury.
Although art is in the eye of the beholder, it is clear that beyond the beauty apparent on the canvas there is a deep social reflection of Cairo today. Sirry is apparently close to the city and the people as she has always been, which is no secret from her past works.
“I don’t sit in front of scenery and paint, says Sirry. “I live, I go everywhere … and an accumulation of living and seeing all this is submerged in my subconscious … and they come when I paint.
From the start of her career, Sirry’s style has always been abstract expressionism. Her personal stamp is her “fantastic style, which is clear in this exhibition in particular.
Understanding abstract art may be difficult to some, but according to Khoury, it is simple as long as you let go of your brain. “The compositions are not brainy … It’s not scientific … It’s all in the heart … It’s a feeling that addresses your heart and not your mind. So if you look at it this way then you can understand, says Khoury.
And as a well know Arab art critic, Mokhtar Al Attar, once said, She does not paint, but rather pours out her soul, talent and intelligence on the canvas. She was born to be the conscience of the nation, with its hopes and pains, joys and sorrows.
Visit “The Fantasy of Metamorphosis at the Zamalek Art Gallery: 11 Brazil St., Zamalek.