17 November, 2013

The Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre

The Art Center is located in Harraina,
about 10 miles from down town Cairo
and well worth visiting.

It is built and developed about 50 years ago
by architect Ramses Wissa Wassef ,
with workshops, museum and living quarters,
surrounded by beautiful gardens.

The museum part had tapestries and sculptures
made during these years.

Wissa Wassef
 had a special vision and philosophy
for how children could develop their artistic sense,
by following three rules.
"No preliminary sketches or cartoons,
no external aesthetic influences,
and no critical interference from adults",
could ensure that
"every child's inspiration
sprang entirely from within,
and fueled by contact
with her or his own environment
rather than through an adult's sensibilities..."

Close-up from the full picture above

Children from the nearby village
was "invited to come
and learn the technique of tapestry
and provide them with what they needed
to translate their imagination and feelings
into woven images."

 Wool on cotton warp

Here is no pattern.
Except for a general idea, they create as they weave.

We got to see weavers at work.
They come when they have time,
between joggling family and cooking.

Some bring their children or toddlers
This one was asleep on his mothers lap, as we walked in

Cotton thread on cotton warp
Very fine and intricate

As they enter the gates of the Art Center,
they leave all stress of daily life behind,
and let their creativity flow free.

 We where told that
the men spend more time weaving,
than the women,
since they have less responsibilities at home. 

In the surrounding gardens,
they grow plant used for coloring the yarn.
The coloring process takes part every fall and spring
(I would love to visit at that time).

Sophie Wissa Wassef,
wife of Ramses, and a watercolour artist,
 introduced batik painting.

Coloring and drying, happens outside.

"Unlike the weaver, 
the batik artist must know exactly where he is going 
before he starts.."

The results are fabulous and rich in color.

Thanks for visiting,
and have a great day!


(info in parentheses is taken from the book 
sold at the Art center)


Celestina Marie said...

Hi Randi, So nice to see you and thank you for stopping by.
Love your post and seeing all the culture you are enjoying. Great pics.
Hugs to all,
Miss you,
XO Celestina Marie


Flotte bilder ig innsyn i en kultur jeg ikke kjenner så godt. Du fikk kanskje ikke med deg utstillingen til Britt Boutros Gahli i Picassomuseet nå nettopp. Hun er fra Sortland, men er bosatt i Kairo.

Julia Thom said...

Thanks for the tour. The tapestries are wonderful to see in progress. And your later blog on the traffic in Cairo was fun (from a distance!). I visited the Red Sea and Luxor about two years ago, and I appreciate re-visiting through your photos.

randi K design said...

Glad you enjoyed the tour, Julia Thom!