Mohamed Yousif & Maggie Otieno: Solace In Soil

Mohamed Yousif & Maggie Otieno: Solace In Soil

Efie Gallery

June 3, 2024
Mohamed Yousif & Maggie Otieno
Solace In Soil
May 31–October 6, 2024
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Efie Gallery
Unit 2 Alkhayat Ave
19th Street – Al Quoz 1, Off First Al Khail Street
United Arab Emirates
Hours: Monday–Saturday 11am–7pm

T +971 4 252 4182

Efie Gallery announces Solace in Soil, a duo exhibition between renowned Emirati artist Dr. Mohamed Yousif (b. 1953) and Kenyan sculptor Maggie Otieno (b.1974), curated by Emirati curator Shamma Al Mheiri.

This exhibition celebrates the grounded connections between the practices of the two artists and the cross-cultural exchange between the Middle East and Africa.

Dr Mohamed Yousif’s work is a distillation of his engagement with and contemplation of the natural environment, where he explores notions of motion and stillness through sculpture. His work has been extensively collected by the Sharjah Art Foundation and featured in numerous exhibitions, highlights of which include two inclusions in The National Pavilion of the UAE at the Venice Biennial (2015, 2017); Language of the Desert at the Kunstmuseum (Bonn, Germany, 2005), the Bangladesh Biennial (First Golden Prize, 2004) and The 5th New Delhi Biennial, India (1982).

Maggie Otieno’s work is centered around abstract long figures comprised of distressed railway sleepers, engaged in silent conversations amongst themselves and their encompassing environment. The railway sleeper wood Otieno uses are over 150 years old and journeyed from the forests of India to Kenya to lay the ‘iron snake’ railway line in 1896, carrying within their grain the stories of travellers, labourers and communities. Through her deft manipulation of form and texture, she endeavors to imbue her sculptures with a sense of temporal continuity, affording them a palpable resonance with the viewer’s own lived experiences.

This exhibition fosters a symbiotic exchange between the artists and their artistic practices, intimately linked to their earthy foundations, enabling their work to converse and showcase the interconnectedness between the regions.

Shamma Al Mheiri, curator of the exhibition at Efie Gallery, says: “Solace in Soil is an exploration of materiality and a sculptor’s connection with the earth. Presented together for the first time, Maggie Otieno and Dr. Mohamed Yousif share leitmotifs of expressing generational sentiments and experiences through tangible expressions. Perhaps distinct in visual identities, Otieno and Dr. Yousif manifest connections deeper than the aesthetic portrayals in a state of continual solace.”

Kwame Mintah, director of Efie Gallery, says: “Since the genesis of Efie Gallery we continuosly strive to be a cross-cultural bridge between Africa and the Middle East, highlighting not only the beauty and creativity of the two regions but their symbiosis. Solace in Soil captures our mission at its core. We are most honoured to have had the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Mohamed Yousif, Maggie Otieno and Shamma Al Mheiri to realise this exhibition.”

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Efie Gallery
June 3, 2024

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