Cairo-based art gallery, Gypsum Gallery hosted a solo show of drawings and paintings by Kuwaiti artist Tamara Al-Samerai entitled Make Room For Me. The exhibition is loosely inspired by Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a book that the artist revisits from her youth. Al-Samerai engages with the book as a story about societal values that tackles notions of revenge, fear, love, jealousy, absence and death, while negotiating the boundary between adolescence and adulthood.
Al-Samerai’s work is visceral, and often deliberately unpolished. Frayed edges, masking tape, dripping paint and raw canvas characterize her drawings and paintings. The images and stories she creates, along with her aesthetic sensibility and eerie compositions tap into primal emotions that underscore our fragile existence as human beings.
Trained as a painter, Al-Samerai's practice includes illustration, photography, animation, video and installation. She received a BA in Fine Arts from the Lebanese American University in Beirut in 2002 and most recently completed the Home Workspace Program at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2012). Her work has been presented by many institutions worldwide including Agial Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France; White Box, Munich, Germany; Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon; Dar Al Funoon, Kuwait and Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK. She has also participated in art projects and workshops in Denmark, Finland, Germany, UK and Lebanon.
Scroll down for highlights of opening reception and Tamara's work. The exhibition is held until 18th February.
From left the gallerist with the artist Tamara Al Samerai