The essay "Middle Eastern Female Contemporary Artists" explores the Female Contemporary Artists of Middle East. Elements of the theater arts are evident in marriage ceremonials, funeral practices and performances of traditional music. Arab artists draw inspiration from the vestiges of the region's ancient cultures, combining older iconography with new insights to create fresh artistic expressions. This fusion of elements is evident in the works of several artists who have been influenced by the ancient symbols of Mesopotamia and the rich imagery of Coptic art. Sawsan Amer's works on glass, for instance, combine traditional iconography with personal imagery, mixing the direct frontality of Coptic icons with representations of birds, both real and imagined. Another artist who joins ancient and contemporary references is Liliane Karnouk from Egypt. "My paintings are in search of a definite cultural union," says the artists. "I belong to a generation trapped between Western and Oriental values." She expresses her search for union by combining tree bark from Canada and the papyrus paper from Egypt in installations such as Black and Green, 1992. This work expresses her helpless outrage at the senseless violence of the Gulf War. The black paperworks represent an initial outlet for her mourning for the human and environmental victims of the conflict. The large spatial canvases were conceived as a visual requiem. The tree bark and green seedlings emerge as a source of renewal. The art of Effat Nagui, a 92-year....
The black paperworks represent an initial outlet for her mourning for the human and environmental victims of the conflict. The large spatial canvases were conceived as a visual requiem. The tree bark and green seedlings emerge as a source of renewal.
The art of Effat Nagui, a 92-year-old Egyptian artist "who lives in history," draws upon the ancient cultures of northern Africa. One of the pioneers of modern art in Egypt, Nagui was the first woman artist to have a work acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in Cairo, in 1928. Her mixed media works like Icon of the Nile. 1991 (Amirsadeghi, Mikdadi & Shabout, 2009, 167-185) unite concentric circles and the venerable outline of the mummy with remnants of Coptic parchment and crocodile skins to create contemporary images that utilize the magic of antiquity. As Nagui says: "Sometimes the artist needs to use materials and forms from ancient folk art so that he may touch the invisible bases which erected original art. Art is the result of assimilated and inherited culture." (Madkour, 2006, 19-21)
Nagui's wooden sculptured surfaces, influenced by Nubian architecture, testify to the dynamic and symbolic roles of art forms. These and other contemporary Arab artists draw inspiration from the past. The Arab East has seen a succession of major civilizations, each creating its own art forms. This is precisely what civilizations are about--creative, centripetal power which fuses old elements with new ideas, giving birth to original and specific new expression. (McEvilley, 2007, 19-21)
The Art of Politics
The Arab East has been a battleground in the 19th and 20th centuries. War has been a critical feature of recent history in the region, and wars, per se, create turmoil in a society, accelerating the normal