Second forum of the Artists of the Ministry of Antiquities 2019 at the Museum of Islamic Art (Nagwa Bakr, Egypt, ITP 2019)

Written by Nagwa Bakr, Community Exhibition Officer in the Department of Cultural Development and Community Communication at the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, ITP 2019

The forum’s purpose is to gather artists working in the Ministry of Antiquities to communicate internally. We seek to develop the forum and organise it annually.

One of the most important goals is to present works inspired by Egyptian heritage. In 2018 the Manial Palace Museum opened its doors to the public. In 2019 I was selected to be the general coordinator of the forum. It was a great challenge for me, and I planned to implement my knowledge gained during the summer course with ITP.

In September 2019 we announced the project on the Ministry website, and then we met the participants to discuss the objects. We asked them to write their labels to express the meaning behind their work and specify how many hours they took to finish it. We received 45 applications with more than 100 objects varied between accessories, leatherwork, painting, candles, amigurumi, alabaster, stained glass, photography and dress. Besides, a conservator Dalia Nabway made incense following ancient Egyptian methods. Also, Dr. Shrief Shabban wrote a novel inspired by history (Three black prophecies), 4 curators performed as singers, and one inspector was playing the saxophone.

Artists receiving certificates
Some postcards with an art collection

Two members of the ITP family participated in the Forum, including Dr. Rasha Kamel (ITP 2006), who is also the founder of the forum. She participated with a painting called Mascot inspired by the collection from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. She said that a curator should show the passion for history behind an old work, and be inspired when presenting new artworks.

Nagwa and Rasha with the Mascot painting

Another ITP fellow, Wesam Mohamed (ITP2015) participated with an amazing, handmade (this includes sewing and embroidery) dress. The dark green colour, inspired by a dress on Cartonnage, the necklace, inspired by the necklace of agate from the First Dynasty. Cloth design in Plisse (pleat), inspired by stela of Iny, the Ankh decoration: Ankh sign of the faience. A short sleeve inspired by the decorations on pottery dish. The decorations on the belt were inspired by part of the sandal (or bracelet) of leather. Beads in shape of a lion, inspired by a lion-headed statue of a goddess, Late Period. Gold ornaments, inspired by a gold necklace, Qau El Kabir.

Wessam Mohamed preparing her gown

Throughout 12 days, we presented many workshops and activities to the local community to raise their awareness of the value of art.