Cario's favorite gallery, Arts-Mart, is upping the arts and culture game with this new concept featuring Nader Abbassi, Fatma Said, Gala El Hadid, Elhami Amin and the United Philharmonic.
So many cultural happenings are making their way to Cairo. There's exciting new gallery openings, to film festivals, to theatre projects, there's something for everyone. And now the Arts-Mart, one of Cairo's biggest art gallery, is going to top all of them with this not-to-be-missed event this Friday.
Artist Lina Mowafy, the director of Arts-Mart and one of its co-founders, teamed up with internationally acclaimed conductor and composer Nader Abbassi, and SODIC Arts to create a one-of-a-kind event. This Friday night music and art will come together in a 'Night of Musicals'. Held in the gorgeous Arts-Mart gallery, Orchestra in Art will have an art-inspired musical performance and a music-inspired art exhibition.
The night will feature The United Philharmonic Orchestra, international award winning soloist Fatma Said, BBC Cardiff singer of the year Gala El Hadidi, and acclaimed star baritone Elhami Amin, conducted by Nader Abbassi. The event is set to host paintings by renowned Egyptian artists including Ibrahim El Tanbouli, Khaled Zaki, Aly Saeed, Klay Kassem, Mostafa Rahma, Khaled Hafez, Lina Mowafy and several other art scene heavyweights, each of which is creating pieces inspired by music.
The idea for this unique project initially came together when Abbassi came to the gallery as a collector, and met Mowafy for the first time. Their initial meeting sparked a spontaneous brainstorm session and thus the concept of this initiative was born - the entire focus being on bringing together different art forms. “We started by asking ourselves what should we start with; how can we start this kind of long term fusion between the visual and performing arts,” states Abbassi.
“All these artists have different backgrounds, different styles, with different experiences - why not introduce people to these artists across all these types of art?" Mowafy elaborates, "We have between the two of us so many inspiring artists that we can showcase and show the world this very positive energy that they bring.”
In addition to the exhibition and performance, there’s also promised to be a very special centerpiece that’s going to hang over the orchestra the day of the concert. Mowafy says, “The entire body of work in this exhibition is created with music in mind, and this is what inspired them; the orchestra was the source of inspiration.”
“The centerpiece is a collaboration between six artists - it's a very rare project," Mowafy says, "I was one of the artists who worked on it, and when we started we had no idea how to actually begin or what the process would be like - would each one of us take a portion of the painting and work on it individually? And then we realised that it had to be a melting pot of our creative process. Like an actual orchestra”
The group then embarked on a unique creative process which would allow all of them to insert elements of their own identity and aesthetic into the collaborative piece. “So we found a place where the six of us can just work together, and then we started with someone putting a line there, someone else adding to it, someone erasing, and someone colouring in," Mowafy elaborates, "It really was a magical bonding experience and the energy really came through in the art. We thought about naming it Concerto because of how much fusion was in it - just like in the orchestra. It really was a beautiful experience.”
'A Night of Musicals' is particularly important to Abbassi because of his love for art. As most creators are, the renowned musician is extremely effected by his surroundings. “So many musical pieces are inspired by paintings, so I, as a composer, can tell you how much inspiration you can draw from the visual arts," he explains "For example, I live in Cairo, in all its noise and chaos - it’s definitely going to affect me as an individual and it's the same when I look at paintings. The input is different, therefore the output is different.”
This is the first event of what Lina hopes will be many. “I think this will open up a completely new experience,” she explains “We are hoping that with the support of the audience and the artists we would be able to build a strong program based on the concept of uniting these arts together because the sky is the limit with what you can do with this concept."