Mona Saudi-Poetic Inspirations24. Sep - 22. Oct 10 / ended The Mosaic Rooms
Mon-Fri 11 to 6pm; Saturday 11-â4pm
The Mosaic Rooms presents the first UK solo show of Mona Saudi, one of the most distinguished artists working in the Arab World today, and one its finest sculptors. Aged 65, Saudi rarely exhibits her work. Poetic Inspirations offers an exclusive and exciting insight into this significant artist’s practise.
A native of Amman, Jordan, Saudi grew up among the bare and rugged hills of her small hometown, surrounded by ancient ruins dating back many millennia to the age of the Ammonites, the Edomites and the Nabataeans, who were all stone carvers. As a young woman, she dreamt of travelling to Paris to study art. However, her traditional and religious family would not have allowed it, so she left home in secret at the age of 17 and spent a year in Beirut, frequenting poets and artists in a city culturally alive with artistic innovation in the heady days of the early 1960s.
Saudi’s first exhibition took place at the Café de la Presse in Beirut. A few sales of her work were enough to buy her a ticket to sail to Paris where she joined the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, by the Seine, frequently crossing the bridge to visit the Louvre, where she discovered a wealth of artistic treasures from various ancient civilizations.
Very early on Saudi joined the Atelier Colamarini of direct carving, and since that time, she has never stopped creating sculptures. This exhibition includes recent sculptures as well as drawings, through which Saudi explores the relationship between sculpture and poetry.
The sculptures are a continuation of the artist’s trend towards pure abstraction. They include Mother Earth, a recent piece that recalls Saudi’s early work and Human Orbits, in coloured marble, which relates Humanity to Earth and the Cosmos. The Seagull in marble is reminiscent of the birds that accompanied Saudi on her epic journey to Paris. My Garden in Jordanian jade glorifies the space in which she lives, works and contemplates. Mid-day Sun Eclipse, a circle in bronze, is in homage to Barbara Hepworth.
The show contains drawings inspired by the great Syrian poet Adonis and by Song for an Equinox, one of St John Perse’s last poems. Other drawings invoke poems by the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, glorifying the love of Mother Earth.
These timeless concepts allow space for contemplation, and for the artist’s ‘endless research in form.’ As Saudi says ‘...in spite of the hundreds of sculptures I have made, I still have the feeling that I am just at the beginning.’
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