Ibrahim El-Salahi

Jerwood Gallery

Following on from his major solo show at TATE Modern last year, the Jerwood Gallery is excited to present an exhibition of Ibrahim El-Salahi’s Tree works from the 28 April through to 31 May 2015.

These works, reflect El-Salahi’s fascination with the Haraza tree, indigenous to Sudan, which has peculiar and inspirational characteristics. This series is an ongoing investigation of the tree / body metaphor, a link between heaven and earth, creator and created; controlled meditations with the emphasis on the spiritual.

“I am very much obsessed with my work. I am a painter and have no other profession. I go to bed dreaming of figures, forms, and colours and wake up to translate my visions and dreams into works of art.

My style changes, but I keep working on one particular theme inspired by a tree, an acacia locally called the Haraz that grows on the banks of the Nile. During the rainy season the tree is leafless, and it 

blossoms with freshly budding green leaves when the weather turns dry and the river flows at its lowest towards the sea. Through all, the tree remains steadfast, silently watching over the passage of seasons and time."

Of the Haraz’s blooming he says; “ This is a definitive statement. Like saying ‘I am me! I am an individual! I do not follow what everyone is doing! When everyone is going to be green, let them be green. I am not!’ It’s individuality. I love that very much.”

Ibrahim El- Salahi, Tate catalogue 2003

MOMA, TATE, Guggenheim, British Museum, National Museum of African Art Washington, and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and Newark Museum all hold El-Salahi’s work in their collections, he is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential figures in African and Arabic modernism.

El Salahi will also be showing his Flamenco paintings  at Vigo Gallery London from 27th May to 27th June 2015 and a solo presentation of works from 1960 to the late nineties at the Frieze art fair in New York from 14th to 17th May.