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Behold Mother Earth @ Sokoto Gallery

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Beginning from 6th December, 2012 to 12th January, 2013, lovers of African art will have swell time at the renowned Sokoto Gallery in the United States of America, where Egyptain artist, Sylvia Iskander will flag off her solo exhibition titled Mother Earth.

Sylvia Iskander’s recent work continues her exploration of aesthetics possibilities of clay as a ready medium combined with an inimitable ability to unite form, color, light and surfaces to create work of remarkable elegance and lyrical beauty.

She exploits themes of memory, myth, history, and the passage of time through the filter of making art that evokes poetic intimacy and allows for the past to be continuously revealed through the present. For the artist, whose work is fed by a life long appreciation and wonder at the earth as a cradle for us all, working with clay gives her a connection to the earth, a remarkable sensitivity to nature and an awareness of the rhythm of the natural world

Her work is firmly rooted in tradition and the modern with refined sensibilities that explore new aesthetics territories and openness to new influences. The power in Sylvia Iskander’s work lies in her ability to reaffirm the expressive potentials and conceptual qualities of clay, an earth material that has remained largely left out of the purview of most artistic practice.

She fuses a mastery of technique with deep emotional intensity and appreciation for the natural world as well as vivid imagination that simultaneously expresses  concern for the entropy of our environment’s continual disintegration and regeneration. The visual resonance in her work is undeniable and aims to give voice to life-giving and nurturing aspects of Mother Earth.

Sylvia Iskander was born 1948 in Egypt and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from Cairo University in 1971 before moving to New York with her husband where she pursued a career in engineering for several years.

“Mother Earth is a common term used to personify nature and focus on its life-giving and nurturing aspects by representing it in the form of the mother. Archeological evidence from around the prehistoric world suggests that the Earth may have once been viewed or worshiped as a female deity.

Ancient texts and mythologies support the idea that the primary goddesses were intimately associated with the earth. In world mythologies- Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Hindu, South American and many others- Mother Earth is personified as a goddess infusing the universe with life. One of the earliest representations of this motif is the Egyptian goddess Hathor who was sometimes depicted as a loving cow.

“In the Greek Mythology, Gaia (Earth) arose as the foundation of the gods of Olympus.In ancient Roman religion and myth Tellus or Terra Mater (Mother Earth) is a goddess of the earth. As for Hindus they worshiped Prithvi also known as Sri or Lakshmi (Mother Earth). In South America this role was given to Pachamama”, she wrote in her artist’s statement.

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