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Marwa Adel – “The Journey”

Marwa Adel is a visual artist using photography, conceptual design and calligraphy to create her artwork. Adel lives and works in Cairo teaching graphic design at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Helwan University. 

Marwa has participated in various national and international art Biennales and activities including:

- 2011 - 9th Bamko Biennale of African Photography - Mali
- 2011 - Marrakesh Art Fair
- 2011 / 2010 / 2009 - Christie’s Dubai Auction Sale 
- 2011 - 8th European/Arab Festival of Photography - Hamburg - Germany
- 2010 - Biennale of Amsterdam
- 2009 till 2011 - Cairo Youth Salon

Marwa won several prizes including:

- 2011 Best Arab Photographer – Emirates Photography Competition - Abu Dhabi - UAE.
- 2011 Gold FIAB Medal - Emirates Photography Competition- Abu Dhabi - UAE.
- 2010 Youth Salon of Cairo Number 21.
- 2010 First Prize for the best solo exhibition -Ministry of culture - Gezira Center of Art.

Marwa is a young talented artist with great ability and sensitivity in modeling her characters and landscapes in a majestic world playing masterly with the concept of shadow and light. She yearns to communicate her inner psyche, her struggles and her absolute being. "These are the incidents of my Life" Adel says. She is not interested in exchanging ideas but rather in communicating how it feels to live in a world where women live to fulfill societal needs and the wishes of others. She adds rhythm to her work by taking traditional elements wrapping and twisting them to create contemporary pieces with an oriental edge. Attractive nudes wrapped in calligraphy and seductive outlines of youth full figures twisting and bending to display the innermost feelings and passions yet with a hint of discretion. "Nakedness is not nakedness but pure vulnerability and standing up from nakedness is solving the problem" Adel says. The choice and poetry in her calligraphy be it Farsi, Arabic or Latin suggests her willingness to court controversy. “We live in a constraining society where there are a lot of double standards, especially when it comes to women." says Adel. "My art is about showing them in a different light in which female beauty doesn’t have to be objectified." 

In her most recent work Marwa is working on how to make a revolution against oneself. "It is about showing all the things hidden inside you, and to be strong enough to face your fears and angers and to express your dreams and hopes" Marwa says. The artist’s process is long and tedious and starts with putting the idea on paper, visualizing it, choosing the model and calligraphy to support the concept. Marwa manipulates her photography to express a specific idea and she usually works on a series of pieces as opposed to singular. She likes to use texture to give the feeling of old paper - paper from the past, weak and with cracks. Marwa’s work includes many layers with different elements in the same image.
In her 5th solo exhibition with Safarkhan, Marwa explores the notion of "The Journey" of our lives. How we are trapped within the traditions and constraints of the past and our inner most struggles and our yearnings to be free from them. Her attractive silhouettes of nudes take center stage standing in specific positions over an intricate oriental background of maps of old narrow streets, souks, men & women in old oriental costumes and spattered with various symbols to reinforce the artists concept. These magical pieces of art are almost monochrome with a hint of sepia to revoke the past and modern figures to evoke the struggle between the two. It’s a bold and audacious invitation to invite the viewer to her world.

In Marwa’s words:

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. Life is too short to sit around thinking about every little thing that could go wrong. To live our lives to the fullest, we must first get rid of the fear inside us. Worrying solves absolutely nothing. You’re going to make plenty mistakes, then make the same ones again and a few more times. Life is about growing up and finding who you truly are. 
Our society has become so judgemental especially on women, and Sometimes things can get really hard and you have to follow your society rules, restrictions, boundaries to be acceptable, so for every woman you have to learn how to be strong and express your desire, dreams, memories, stories and feelings and at the end break free from the restrictions imposed on you by society so put all of this behind you and overcome it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Just because something isn’t happening for you at the moment, doesn’t mean it never will. There’s no rule book or guide to tell you how to get where you want to go. You also can’t spend your life caring what other people think. It’s your life, choices and decisions. You’re holding the pen to write your life story, no one else.”
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