Amina El-Demirdash

In Living Colour

Amina El-Demirdash adds a lot of colour to life through her art. El-Demirdash finds it important to encourage artists and spread art awareness in Egyptian society. Using the palette knife technique, her painting is inspired by places, landscapes, people, as well as visiting galleries and seeing other people’s work. eniGma’s Salma Hussein talked to El-Demirdash to find out more about her artistic style and her love for art.

How many exhibitions have you had?

I had my very first exhibition in 2007 with a couple of my friends at a friend’s apartment. We painted the apartment, hung up our paintings, made flyers and handed them out to embassies and so on. It went really well; a lot of people showed up and we sold our art. Then in 2011, I had my own exhibition at a friend’s gallery called Hanfanenha in Zamalek. I also had a group exhibition at Safar Khan with two of my friends. I then started taking my artwork to Zamalek Art Gallery and being a part of their group exhibitions. In May 2014, I had a solo exhibition in Zamalek Art Gallery which is where I exhibit my work now. I do not exhibit my work anywhere else.

Out of all of these exhibitions, which one was your favourite or which did you enjoy the most?

It’s hard to say because each one was different and exciting in its own way. For me, the first exhibition I did with my friends, was the most fun. We called it, ‘Three Girls Gone Nuts’ and we handed a pack of nuts to everyone on the day of the exhibition!

Who is your favourite Egyptian or foreign artist?

I have many favourites. I love the Swiss female artist, Margo Veillon. Her work is amazing. I know it’s cliché, but I also love Van Gogh. I like Willem de Kooning too, he’s very funky. And I love Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s work. My favourite Egyptian artists are Gazbia Sirry and Farghali Abdel Hafiz.

Which of these artists inspires your work?

I don’t know, it changes all the time. I had a phase where I used to draw all nudes, then a phase where I drew buildings and houses. Nowadays I draw people in a very abstract form.

Do you think art is appreciated in Egypt?

Appreciation for art dropped after the 1950’s. In Egypt we don’t have enough public galleries where you can walk in to look at art. This is something I’d like to help change, to raise awareness for art.

Tell us about the art course you recently attended.

I came back two weeks ago from Italy where I attended the Contemporary Oil Painting and Drawing technique course at the Accademia D’arte di Firenze in Florence. It was my second time to take that course.

Where do see yourself three years from now?

I don’t really know exactly but I see myself working with art. I see myself doing a masters degree in curating art and I want to see myself helping changing something here. I want to do a lot of things..