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Mervat Shazly Hilali مرفت شاذلى هلالي     An inspiration for Luxor Art Gallery, we are humbled and privileged to have Mervat Shazli Hilali's support for the gallery. A prolific, accomplished, female painter with Nubian roots, she has rarely been written about in English press, yet deserves recognition for achieving all that one can hope for as an artist. Her style is personal and masterful for its sense of surreal spontaneity, full of symbolism and revelations. One imagines that she picks up a paintbrush and lets the passionate colors of her palette and feelings dictate her gorgeously rendered forms. Her art is a vision of the Egyptian woman, as though peering through a window into her home and her heart, a secret and a confession, like a poetic memoir. They are portraits not in the traditional sense, but capturing the soul and aura, creating an experience of intimacy and encounter. Her canvases are filled, busy and moving, crowded with figures and animals like birds, cats, and fish, and often cluttered with furnishings to constantly create a sense of enclosure and claustrophobia, but also a feeling so distinctly Egyptian, without privacy, full of community, loud with song, and caught between urban struggles and a solidarity with nature. —D.N.


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