Landscape artist Bríd óg Norrby hosts Sundanese Artist and Journalist – Nasir El Safi in her online gallery for one month running from the 15th of April – 16th May.
Nasir El Safi’s work opens the door to the vibrant and diverse culture that is Sudan. A country whose long history of art dating back to ancient civilisations is evident today by its wealth of singers, painters and poets.
The geographical, climatic and tribal diversity that make up Sudan and its multiplicity of customs and traditions give Nasir’s paintings a strong sense of identity and a boldness of colour and form. His work reflects the richness of this multi-ethnical, multi-cultural society where historically people lived in harmony.
Nasir uses several different materials in addition to oil and acrylic in order “to reach and search for the deep idea and specific goal of the painting”.
Nasir’s vision is to respond to the huge recent changes in Sudan as a result of the revolutionary uprising. He strives to document these historical times for his people through his painting and to bear witness to the dramatic changes – both culturally and socially.
Nasir explains that in Sudan opportunities were not available for artists, especially under the dictatorial regime which was hostile to the Arts in all its forms. Despite the extremely difficult circumstances he took part in two exhibitions in Khartoum and managed to get several pieces of his journalistic work published in a number of Sudanese newspapers and magazines in the UK, Oman, Egypt and Qatar.
After several arrests and threats to his life – because of his defence of Human Rights in his journalistic work – Nasir was forced to flee his country and now lives in Ireland.
Despite having gone through the further stresses of living in Direct Provision Nasir is filled with hope. Hope for a brighter future for his homeland and hope that he will be one day able to continue his work as a journalist here in Ireland. He will continue to paint and draw attention to Sudan its culture and its possibilities for tomorrow.