Ahmed Askalany

Egyptian artist Ahmed Askalany utilises traditional materials, weaving and craft methods of Upper Egypt to create sculptures that express his native roots in a contemporary context.

Born in a southern Egyptian village, Askalany derives inspiration for his work from human figures and animals in his native town. Askalany connects traditional forms and materials in a way that responds to the complexities of contemporary art. He weaves palm leaves using an ancient Egyptian craft technique typically associated with basic objects, such as baskets. However, his work should not be viewed as folk art because, prior to his work, there was no artistic tradition in Egypt of weaving figures of animals and people from palm leaves. His sculptures are in a constant state of reflection, capturing fleeting moments such as a horse ride or a kiss. In Askalany's own words, "Simplicity is my philosophy–to convey the idea directly to the viewer without going into detail".

Askalany has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Egypt and abroad, including in Paris, Rome, the Venice Biennale, Holland, Sarajevo, Cuba and the Gulf Arab region. His first show, in 1998, was held in his native Qena.