Project 1 – Sally Tobala

Project 1 - Sally Tobala

Artist Statement
Project Green
For this project, I decided to come up with a symbolic creation of a greener Cairo. There seems to be so much tension these days in the city whether they are due to the political and social events that are happening, or due to the everlasting hectic traffic, or the several types of pollution that encompass the city. I believe that beautiful and peaceful sceneries and places generate beautiful and peaceful souls and faces. By spreading out the green all over the city, I think this would make the inhabitants of Cairo be more relaxed and by being more relaxed they could be more innovative and open to creativity with a clear mind which they now lack. In this visual art collection, I gathered panoramic photos of Cairo and covered up the city’s building, flimsy shops and random graffiti with green that symbolizes trees, leaves, gardens or fields using different materials.
My experience started off idea from the mind maps I developed. I found out that a studio is somewhere where you create a piece of art using any medium to tell a story and deliver a message. The city is so tensed due to the factors mentioned before and you only feel relaxed when you’re at home. Finally, the space is somewhere where at first when I am strange to and do not have any connections to it, it feels hollow but then when I get attached it get warm and it starts to have certain meanings to me which makes me feel relaxed. From the mind maps I came up with the theme of “relaxation”. I came up also with the idea that since the city is so tensed these days why not help the people relax and loosen up. For me gardens always make me feel relaxed and free. Therefore by adding more gardens, trees and greenery in the city, Cairo citizens would feel more tranquil.
I was enthused by Monet and how his garden served as an inspiration to him that led to a series of painting which he dedicated to his garden and how it made him calm. I decided then to choose my garden at home as my place as it is where I relax, get inspired and create. I was also inspired by a Lebanese artist called Sandra Richani who created a similar project called Beirut the Fantastic, where she used photoshop to edit photos of Beirut. I, however, chose to implement my project using paint and other materials so my project would be more alive and in 3D form like.
Another thing that added as an inspiration for this visual art collection is a photo which I’ve taken this summer from the Eiffel Tower and how the view of Paris from above was flooded by a huge pool of gardens and beautiful architecture however the greenery fully covered the premises. This photo gave me the idea of going to the Cairo Tower to compare and contrast views. I went there, the view was not as clear as Paris due to the pollution and the greenery was to a minimum. However I could see many monuments and landmarks from up there such as the Cairo Opera House and the Nile.
With photos that I’ve taken from the Cairo Tower, from a rooftop from a building in Zamalek and from some streets in Cairo; I created my project. I got the picture covered them with either green acrylic paint and drew leaves on the buildings, covered rooftops with green wool and sponge or covered deserted lands in front of houses with green stickers in the shape of playgrounds for the kids. I think that this project could generate a series of projects that serve the same purpose of beautifying Cairo either by gardens or other techniques to allow people to relax.

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