Islamic designs and Mamluk Empire motifs were the main theme of the art work of Art Jameel’s ninth graduation group of the Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Cairo.
The graduation ceremony of the two-year programme witnessed the handicrafts which the 21 students aimed to mirror their thoughts and what they have been learning over the past two years.
The ceremony was attended by Egypt’s Minister of Culture Inas Abdel-Dayem, who stressed the importance of handicrafts in shaping the Egyptian identity.
Abdel-Dayem stated that handicrafts are an essential element which presents the glory of Egyptian heritage, and is an indicator to local art innovation and uniqueness.
She also praised the cooperation between Egyptian artisans and international organisations which promote the Egyptian artisan culture and heritage.
Art Jameel is an independent organisation which fosters and promotes contemporary art, cultural heritage protection, and creative entrepreneurship across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, and beyond.
The Jameel House of Traditional Arts provides Egyptians with classes in traditional Islamic geometry, drawing, colour harmony, and arabesque studies, as well as specialised training in ceramics, glass and gypsum, metalwork, and woodwork.
“We noticed this year a significant development in the graduates’ work and their confident, articulate presentation skills. This year, two students who specialised in brass work created replicas of Mamluk metalwork: a table and a chandelier. The results are impressive and indicate the potential of creating works for museum shops in Egypt,” said Mamdouh Sakr, director of the programme at the Jameel House in a press release.
Throughout the programme curriculum, the students learned the elements of preserving cultural heritage, as well as the main elements of restoring monuments, as well as elements of contemporary designs.
“Most of the students who specialised in woodwork were keen to make furniture pieces. This was challenging for some of them, but again the results were satisfying. The ceramics group created a variety of designs for plates and decorative panels that showed how they were able to draw inspiration from various sources and references,” he added.
Graduation is not the end of the art journey students witness with artwork. Among the programme’s goals is to secure job opportunities for its students within the fields of art and design.
The graduates’ artwork is on display in an exhibition that runs until 12 September at the Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Cairo in the Fustat Traditional Crafts Centre.