Standing in the middle of the aged courtyard could alone inspire artists to create brilliant masterpieces. The beauty of the structure could not help but be highlighted further when a hand-full of local artisans and artists circulated the venue to showcase, talk, and trade art.
Art Shower is a yearly event organised by Designobia to openly celebrate all forms of art. This year, the long-awaited shower took place in Bayt Al-Sanary. The historic venue was filled with a colourful collection of experts and upcoming talents, for a day of elaborate beauty, collaboration, and artisanship.
“Our main theme today is called ‘art creates life’. We have several panel discussions, workshops, a market for hand-made crafts, and a gallery for paintings. We also have a great line up of speakers, including Mohamed Abla, founder of Fagnoun, as well as photographers Antika and Hana,” exclaimed Designobia PR member Rokaya Esmat.
The workshops were divided between kids and grownups. While workshops for children created craft monkeys, the rest of the audience enjoyed workshops and presentations on oil painting, calligraphy, and sculpting.
“The event aims to promote art and prove that it has the power to create life,” continued Esmat. “A lot of people cease to believe in the importance of art due to the recent political and economic changes; therefore, we wanted to create a day that suggests that art is the main core of life.”
The event’s one-day plan allowed the audience to experience a condensed dose of art in all of its various forms. This included presenting things that are normally seen in daily life; yet, could be easily missed.
Designobia organises smaller scale art events regularly every two months. The yearly Art Shower is considered a capstone to these periodic events and a chance to highlight the year’s top art movers and shakers.
“This is the second anniversary of the Art Shower event. For our first year our theme was creative industry and we organised it at the Greek campus,” said Esmat.
The showcased forms of art varied between wearable and visual media and performance art. Harboured on the inside of the courtyard, spectators were able to witness the talents of origami experts, and in one case a man who managed to turn old glass bottles into contemporary lamps.
In contrast to the festivals more modern designs, the geometric patterns of a specific brand stood out amongst the rest. Magady’s Jewellery is a hand-made label that is created mainly out of natural wood.
“My brand mainly specialises in wooden accessories and jewellery; something that I believe no one else does in Egypt. The label is fully designed and manufactured in Egypt; using local materials,” boasted founder, Mohamed Magdy.
Magdy’s father is the main factor behind the label’s geometrical aesthetic as his career as an engineer created the first creative steps for his son’s career and became his main source of inspiration. The unique brand offers modern statement jewellery such as necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
“Art Shower is a good opportunity for me to showcase my brand and bring it out to a wider spectrum of potential clients. The feedback has been encouraging. The majority of customers were looking to purchase more than just for themselves, which was very surprising. I am very happy with the positive comments regarding the label’s overall aesthetic,” said Magdy.
The event’s market also attracted a large number of visitors throughout the day. The cohesive collection of vibrant colours and catchy designs captured the attention of the event’s organisers and visitors equally. The majority of the booths displayed hand-made garments that mixed illustrations and embroidered beads in a rainbow of casual garments.
“I design and create handmade garments and accessories,” said Mayra Adel, founder of Artisanat. “I draw designs using Photoshop and print them on tote bags. Designobia was interested in handmade crafts and I welcomed the opportunity to showcase my designs during the Art Shower.”
The main attractions of the event were the various workshops that tackled many forms of art. From calligraphy to painting, the audience experienced a sneak peek into different styles and forms of artistic expression.
One of the most popular workshops was run by none other than Al-Qalam.
The enthusiastic calligraphers attracted long lines of Arabic-font admirers as they offered the guests complimentary snippets of their talent.
“The Arabic font is an all-time representative of our Arab identity. Al-Qalam is an initiative that aims to revive calligraphy and advocate the Arabic font,” said Mohamed Khalaf, member of Al-Qalam. “We run workshops both online and locally in order to encourage the younger generations to embrace calligraphy,” he continued.
Al-Qalam uses their social media platforms to create small communities of calligraphy artists, enthusiasts, and appreciators. The non-profit initiative works hand in hand with many distinctive local organisations that are interested in aiding calligraphy.
“Our main aim lies in our determination to promote calligraphy as a form of art. Accordingly, we organise monthly workshops and exhibitions to showcase the work of our artists. Furthermore, we reach out to locally respected calligraphers, who are capable of evaluating the students’ work and able to advise how to further develop talents” said Khalaf.
According to the team behind Al-Qalam, calligraphy easily reaches out to the young generations. Their strategy is quite direct and starts with writing people’s names in various artistic festivals, such as Art Shower; it is only a matter of time before the same audience returns or seeks them out in order to master this elaborate form of art.