One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.- Henry Miller
Magdi Adam is an artist from Sudan who understands and applies the saying above. He has travelled to different parts of Africa, experienced diverse cultures and exhibited works of art inspired by the countries he has visited. Armed with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, Magdi Adam has seen and done it all: calligraphy, graphic design, drawing and painting. The seeker in him led him to Kenya six months ago. It was during his stay here that he came up with the works of art that are currently on display at the Italian Institute of Culture in Nairobi.
“I am inspired by different cultures and experiences. I have exhibited my works in Uganda, Egypt, North Sudan and Kenya.’’ He says as we chat about his latest exhibition. The environment and gender roles are just some of the themes he explores. In one of the paintings, he captures the confusion over the roles of men and women by painting a man and woman caught up in a flipped up enclosure. Lush green vegetation and towering oaks are also featured in his current collection.
In spite of the fact that he has been to a number of African countries, his country remains his main source of inspiration. He speaks well of his people whom he describes as kind and gentle. Magdi says he is disappointed by the government’s lackadaisical attitude towards art. There are no government funded museums or galleries in North Sudan, his native country. Artists like Magdi are determined to keep art alive. For the past twenty years, he has been experimenting with different techniques. The current exhibition is evidence of his ability to dabble in abstract painting and expressionism.
Is there a right or wrong way of painting? I ask as we are joined by one of his friends who travelled from Australia for the exhibition
_ Art is diverse. An artist must embrace his journey and learn from other artists along the way.
Visit the Italian Institute of Education and Culture and take a peek into his world.