This exhibition of works by Ibrahim El-Salahi reflects his fascination with the Haraz tree, native to Sudan, which has peculiar and inspirational characteristics.
El-Salahi himself is also native to Sudan. He is one of the pioneers of the Sudanese and African art movements. In 1954, he left Sudan on a Government Scholarship to study at the Slade School of Fine Art in London where he was inspired by Western Modernism.
Returning to Sudan to teach, Salahi was held as a political prisoner in the mid 1970’s, after which he left Sudan. He now lives in Oxford. Throughout his career, Salahi has held influential positions as a cultural figure, advising governments and the Arab world on cultural policies.
The series inspired by the Haraz tree is an ongoing investigation of the tree / body metaphor, a link between heaven and earth, creator and created.
Speaking about when the tree blooms, El-Salahi says,‘This is a definitive statement. Like saying ‘I am me! I am an individual! I do not follow what everyone is doing! When everyone is going to be green, let them be green. I am not! It’s individuality. I love that very much.’