Being Egyptian

“Being Egyptian, I can never quite shake the legacy of my country’s history. Durability and beauty are very important to me.”

‘Mother and Child’

When you see my husband’s work and make the connection he is Egyptian you can see the Egyptian influence in his work. The obilisque ideas, the geometric shapes, the pyramids! The strength and power behind the works. One of the reasons why the ancient Egyptian artefacts have lasted perhaps better than their Roman counterparts is because the Egyptian ones are solid. Solid in that there are no gaps, between the bodies and the arms, for example. There is no space for the elements to radically erode the stone. This technique is very visible in my husbands’ work. This use of old techniques and method and recognition of the past is the philosophy behind the Young Master’s prize’s. Next week my husband is off on his travels to London again to put two pieces, this one above, in an exhibition and auction to raise money for this prize.

(On 18 June to 4 July, the Young Masters initiative is hosting a fundraising auction and exhibition at Rupert Cavendish Antiques, 610 King’s Road, London SW6. On 21st June, from 6.30 to 9.30pm they are hosting a fundraising reception and auction of selected works from the exhibition, to be hosted by Kate McKenzie, one of the Christie’s auctioneering team.)

I, on the other hand am not Egyptian. I am quintessentially English. However I do feel Egypt is in my blood. My first taste of it was when I was a student and had gathered my pennies and worked millennium Eve to afford the flight and travel around Egypt. excited and independent my journey there was an adventure in itself. I chose to be ‘bumped off’ the plane from Amsterdam to Egypt to gain a little more cash and naively failed to tell anyone what I was doing. After being put up in a hotel in Amsterdam and then due to fog, having to fly back to London followed by  delays at Heathrow, I was, therefore,rather late arriving in Egypt. Perhaps all would have been fine, except  I was being met by a fellow student and when I didn’t show at the airport phone my worried parents who couldn’t track me as I had boarded and flown out of Leeds successfully. So I almost filed as ‘a missing person’. Lesson learnt; always phone home.

However, the rest of my travel around Egypt was successful and once I had floated on a felucca on the Nile,  there was no stopping my return. I remember the dusk dusty departure, weeping for no apparent reason other than I had fallen in love with the land. Little did I know then that I would fall in love with an Egyptian in my small yorkshire village, marry and have two sons. We have since had a few trips there and back. With my eldest I had a substantial stay  for six weeks with my Sister in Law and a ‘real egyptian experience’…that’s another story.

For me, there are no borders and boundaries on the world. We can find a place so foreign that somehow feels like home. On a day-to-day level now we have little taste of Egypt when we listen to arabic music, when we cook Egyptian food, a few weeks ago when we had a blast of heat. In the evening it would smell a little like Egypt. These are the things that are missed, the smells, the sights, the sound and the sisters.

So, there is a little flavour for now. When we will physically return there who knows.. a country currently in change.

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2 thoughts on “Being Egyptian

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