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35 artists 70 works, in Stockholm untill the 1st June 2019 by Thanos Kalamidas

If you live in Stockholm Sweden or even if you visit the nymph of Scandinavia between the 20th of May and 1st of June don’t miss EU-MAN’s art exhibition in Hallunda Folkets Hus.

Stockholm is a world known city of tolerance and acceptance and the Scandinavian centre of artistic expression, the perfect place for the European Union Migrant Artists’ Network (EU-MAN) to present the biggest gathering of immigrant and guest artists in its history. 35 artists, most immigrants living in Europe adjoined with a number of fellow artists from Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Kuwait and Iraq.

echibit02_400A celebration of colours and techniques balancing from the desert starfull nights to the Scandinavian gothic winters. 35 artists, over 70 works.

Behind this artistic marvel is one man, Amir Khatib. An artist and immigrant from Iraq who 22 years ago while looking for his place in the artistic mainstream of his host country, Finland, founded an organization that could unite and empower immigrant artists from all around Europe. EU-MAN was the first European Cultural Network found and established in Finland and despite all the constant obstacles (mostly from a hostile state) thrives and evolutes year after year.

Amir Khatib’s love and dedication to art and artists, has given a series of exhibitions all around Europe, from London to Helsinki, participation in art workshops in Finland, Turkey and Egypt and the establishment of a permanent exhibition place (EU-MAN gallery) in Helsinki Finland.

On top of that and under Mr Khatib’s supervision, the organization publishes the magazine Universal Colours, promoting art and artists, always introducing the work of artists partipicipating in EU-MAN.You can download all the issues of the magazine HERE!

The Stockholm 2019 exhibition is the second for the group for this year and the participants alphabetically are: Abuzeid Amal (Egypt) – Naima Acherkouk (Egypt) – Saad Al Falahi (Iraq) – Eman Anees (Egypt) – Nermin Askar (Egypt) – Fadwa Attia (Egypt) – Ronak Azeez  (Iraq) – Alyaa Aziz (Iraq) – Seamus Brogan (Irland) – Fadia Coeuru (Egypt) – Sameer Dheyaa (Iraq) – Shadia Elkoshairy (Egypt) – Ibrahim El Fichawy (Egypt) – Noha Ghorab (Egypt) – Reem Gohar (Egypt) – Miriam Hathout (Egypt) – Elvira Heilkevich (Russia) – Maha El Homossy (Egypt) – Thanos Kalamidas (Greece) – Samia Kamel (Egypt) – Amir Khatib (Iraq) – Baky Maged (Egypt) – Muhammad El Mahdy (Egypt) – Eldin Mohamed Mohey (Egypt) – Moustafa Soheir (Egypt) – Tomi Nabil (Iraq) – Mahmood Nadhum (Iraq) – Suhaila Al Najdi (Egypt) – Ali Najjar (Iraq) – Azdehar Osman (Iraq) – Sadek Nihad (Egypt) – Maha Sami (Egypt) – Bilal Al Skuti (Egypt) – Latifa Yousef (Palestine) – Heba Zohny (Egypt).

The ambassadors of Iraq and Morocco honoured the opening of the exhibition on the 20th of May while friends and art-lovers visit the place daily.

The exhibition takes place at: Hallunda Folkets Hus, Borgvägen 1 – 145 68 NORSBORG and it will be open till the 1st of June 2019.

A must see for whoever lives or visits Stockholm, these days.

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You can download the full PDF catalogue of the exhibition HERE!

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The Most Selfish of Virtues: Alan Bennett’s Lady in the Van by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

It does seem specific. A middle class concern centred on a man and an elderly woman, a sort of surrogate, irritating mother type of indulgent wisdom and uncertain past, seemingly irritating yet, on some level, fulfilling. Alan Bennett writes prose that moves gracefully, a sort of tender glaze of tea, cocoa and the fire place. But it was Bennett who brought, into being, this figure who provided haunting teases, provocations and awareness.

van0001_400It’s all about a van, this un-priestly domain of living, and its indomitable occupant, a certain Miss Mary (or Margaret?) Shepherd, who proffers manners godly but prefers, often, a distinctly profane form of living. The van itself, poor condition, appears in Gloucester Crescent, north London. Movement followed, a kind of inexorable progression. Eventually, number 23 – Bennett’s residence – became a home. She would stay for fifteen years.

These are fifteen years that waver between emotions, though one is consistent. “One seldom was able to do her a good turn without some thoughts of strangulation,” remembers Bennett. During her stay, she is effusive about receiving “guidance from the Virgin Mary” and claims to being horrendously busy. She sells tracts. “I sell them, but so far as authorship is concerned I’ll say they are anonymous and that’s as far as I am prepared to go.”

She becomes a feature of Gloucester Crescent. For some, its pity – and these are given short shrift; then there the youths keen to get a look. Even police on the beat, as Bennett recalls, were happy to have their little stab of curiosity to “enliven a dull hour of their beat.” She becomes an object of village persecution, from stall holders to children. Drunks smash the windows of the van. The vehicle, at stages, is given a violent rocking. But she maintains, throughout, a degree of equanimity. She even has time to tell Bennett that she witnessed “a ginger feller I saw in Parkway in company with Mr Khrushchev. Has he disappeared recently?”

Then there is the sanitation – or its conspicuous lack of. Concealment and blame are the order of the day: Yardley dusting power is used generously; and, when in doubt, some other cause is identified as being responsible for the “Susie Wong”.

For Bennett, charity is not unadulterated. This, perhaps, is the lingering lesson of this encounter. He quotes, at the start of his account of Miss S in Writing Home, William Hazlitt’s observations in “On the Knowledge of Character” (1822): “Good nature, or what is often considered as such, is the most selfish of all virtues: it is nine times out of ten mere indolence of disposition.”

There is guilt, self-interest and anger in such a disposition. The repeated attacks and attention eventually see Miss S find her way into a form of tenancy in the garden, security that provides scant comfort for Bennett. He wanted “a quiet life as much as, and possibly more than, she did. In the garden she was at least out of harm’s way.”

For more HERE!

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The Tyranny of Fashion: Shredding Banksy by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

The modern art world is filled with pranks and pranksters, the clowns who have decided that play counts for art. Brattish artists foist a range of projects and conceptual themes upon art galleries who, foolishly, see emperors decked in the finest wear. They refuse to consider that the wear is absent, an expensive mirage that tells to an old tale of the imperial ruler without clothes. 

brank01_400This is a world, of transaction, appearance and display, based on conceit and seduction, the toying by the super star artist of the necessarily gullible, and the acceptance on their part they are bearing witness to the exceptional. When Banksy’s Girl with Balloon was shredded at Sotheby’s (a sort of art styled seppuku), it was subsequently, and all too quickly, transformed into Love is in the Bin. Technicians in the room did not seem too fussed by the occurrence, and diligently went about their business of retouching the new piece for the market amidst nervous laughter and much tittering. Banksy’s own company Pest Control granted the work a new certificate. Another prank had been played.

The anonymous woman who had initially bid for the previous painting at the point of shredding found herself in raptures, but had to play along as initially shocked. (She may well have been, but this posture seemed distinctly contrived.) The £1,042,000 was well spent, thank you very much.  “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history,” came the observation from the buyer.

Marketing executive Stephanie Fielding feels that Sotheby’s would have been in on it. “One would hope in an age of security consciousness they would have known that such a contraption was inside the artwork.” Sotheby’s did little to dispel this notion, boasting that the new work had been “created in our salesroom”, and was “the first work in history ever created during a live auction.” Its employees also added to the tattle, a layering of playfulness. “I don’t think we knew,” came the guarded receptionist, “but we’re not allowed to say anymore.”

For more HERE!

Ovi magazine

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For My Husband by Virginia Maria Romero

For My Husband

Alone together
       we enter night’s arena
with one last glimmer
twilight embraces
fertile (moist darkness
so shall we remain
adorned in shadows
vulnerable
sustained by faith

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  A painting from Virginia Maria Romero
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More of Virginia Maria Romero’s paintings HERE!

 

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Yuna:wikko’o by Virginia Maria Romero

Yuna:wikko’o

Wolf song,
a primal chorus that I dance to
as the fullness of my heart empties
into dreams that come with the sun’s last breath
before buried beneath purple mountains.

These dreams
that tell me the wolf’s song
will be kept alive
by our voices…

A primal song that fills my spirit

yuna:wikko’o
shiwi

Barely audible
yet piercing,
a primal call
Iktushiwi
Shalanitawu
Nakashawu
Yuna:Wikko’o….

 

  A painting from Virginia Maria Romero
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More of Virginia Maria Romero’s paintings HERE!

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Ovi magazine

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Appreciate Art V

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Wintry Pleasures by David Barger (Poem)

    Snow is falling
Leaving the trees in patches of white.
Standing there with a naked vulnerability
Your eyes kiss me,
And your smile embraces
With an alluring attraction.

wint01_400   The warmth of this room
Keeps the cold at bay,
And the heavens continue to open
Allowing frozen particles to dance
Between the winds and the earth.

Still, here we are aligning ourselves
With the blankets of flirtation,
And playing with the idea
Of wintry pleasures.

Your touch is kind to this aging body,
And I am aware of the absolution
In which our thoughts are directed.
I find closure to the building snow,
As your hands speak softly
Causing submissiveness
Slowly to form around my lips.

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