CAIRO – An Italian, Antonella Leoni, puts the Cairo art scene back in the spotlight with her first solo exhibition of works created on papyrus, combining Islamic culture, universalism of values and Pharaonic tradition.
The exhibition, scheduled from November 20 to December 4 in the Egyptian capital, is the most recent piece of artistic activity that had already been recognized when Leoni, in 2018, was the first Italian to be a guest of the Festival. international arabic calligraphy. in Cairo.
The native of Emilia-Romagna has been resident in Egypt since 2015, and in this exhibition she presents 30 works that a digital brochure presenting the exhibition defines as having “a mystical connotation that makes her works known to the imagination and contemplation of the Divine ”. .
In the early 2000s, Leoni graduated in oriental arts from Royal Holloway University in London, becoming “immediately and deeply” interested in the decorative arts of the Islamic world, she told ANSAmed.
A theme of the work chosen for the exhibition poster contains a dove “universally recognized as a symbol of peace, devotion and universal love”, specifies the brochure, recalling that in Christian iconography this bird represents ” the mind”.
The artist, who also creates abstract works using ancient “marbling” techniques, graduated in Arabic calligraphy from the oldest Egyptian school dedicated to this discipline, the “Khalil Agha” in Cairo.
And Arabic characters, accompanied by figurative elements, abound on these papyri which will be exhibited at the “Odyssey Art Gallery” under the title “From letters to stories”.
“Antonella Leoni’s creative process, conceived and trained in Egypt, seems to have arisen directly from the Egyptian cultural climate, from its earliest origins,” the brochure states.
Indeed, the artist “is not only inspired by Islamic culture” but also expresses himself “in the intuition of the pharaonic tradition”.
The brochure also stressed that the papyrus itself, “also a sign of life”, is “a vital element and not just a medium for writing”.