Egyptian Artist Nada Elkalaawy Stays True to Her Art During Pandemic

Published August 25th, 2021 - 11:37 GMT
Tic Tok, oil on canvas by Nada Elkalaawy
Tic Tok, oil on canvas by Nada Elkalaawy (Instagram)
Highlights
She often incorporates drawing, animation, and tapestry projects in conversation with the painterly medium.

With the Coronavirus outbreak changing the way everyone in the world is working and living their daily lives, artists are learning to adapt to a “new normal”. 

The pandemic has been a source of a sometimes overwhelming sense of uncertainty. Egyptian artist shares how she used art to document their experiences.

She often incorporates drawing, animation, and tapestry projects in conversation with the painterly medium.

Nada Elkalaawy was born in 1995 in Alexandria. She is a London-based artist who grew up between both cultures. She graduated with an MFA in Painting from the Slade School of Fine Art and received her BA from Kingston University. 

Her personal history is her primary work material. In her art, she is dealing with loss, traces of memories, and fiction. 

Her compositions combine elements taken from several photographs, intertwining multiple temporalities and localities with purely imaginary details. She often incorporates drawing, animation, and tapestry projects in conversation with the painterly medium.

Last year of COVID pandemic challenged her to move past the notion of stillness & use her creative skills to find resilience daily.

It was difficult to stay motivated and to find inspiration initially but it made me realize how meaningful the smallest details of our surroundings can be.
Nada Elkalaawy

That's why she started to make work as a response to the situation. 

Painting to her is an ongoing investigation on how to tackle the topic of longing and the exploration of capturing accurate and false memories. 

The artistic process, therefore, helps provide nuanced reflections, both from an autobiographical and a fictional perspective. 

Her work has been exhibited in various shows and festivals in Alexandria, Cairo, London, Berlin, Thessaloniki, Milan, and Guayaquil.


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