A gate way for Vision
Dr. Amal Nasr
Feeling is the passage to the artistic domain of Abd El-Salam Eid. Through which we can
interpret a wider scope of the artist’s conceptions that pay respect to the emotional side of
Art as an experience, its insight into the world and objects, and the nature of performance.
That is depending upon an intuitive approach during the artwork development steps, and until the
finishing stages. In constructing his Artwork, his established principle, is an emotional one, which
gives much concern to effluence, extinction, stillness, excitement, dream, and flow of an endless
The feeling gateway, in the main, is considered as the most important access to Art and its interpretation.
No more evidence for this than the word “Aesthetic”, which means to perceive-feel-sense
”Aesthesis”, and feeling sensitivity in particular. Feeling is the emotional aspect of expertise, and Art
is a language for the realm of feeling. Construction in the Artwork carries relevant resemblance to
various forms of human feeling: growth and feebleness, forms of effluence and stillness, conflict and
relaxation, speed and stoppage, Excitement, stillness and splendor, regular animation and dreamy
slips, and finally, the endless flow of everything we feel in depth and vitality.
Abd El-Salam Eid does not put warnings, or assign guards at the entrances and exits of his feelings,
and thus he was able to maintain their vigor and freshness. In Fact, it is his prime source of
his creative experience.
Hence we can apprehend that repletion of picked up objects, which the Artist acquired them during
long years. His selective acquisition of these objects reflects an emotional engagement, which is
deeply attached with his remote childhood memories. Al l these stuffs are a fertile and live material
for aplenty of Eid’s artwork, where it reveals itself before him. Throngs of stuffs are surrounding him
all the time. He raises a continuous debate with them until the proper moment for the turn of each
one, is realized. That would be the real spiritual drive for a new artwork. Thus, object has been
transferred from its existence in the studio, to breathe life among the work. Of course, that would
be achieved after a period of closeness and a common emotional life with the artist.
The Artist here is not merely introducing his items in an ordered assembly and interchangeable
relationships. But every part and the whole are full with an emotional tone, that are drawing from
mysterious far remote memories, and which possess a common quality. This would remind us with
Roger Fry (1966-1934), when he said:
“…It seems that Art permeates until the lower layers of all emotional lives, towards something latent
under all particular emotions, it may draw an emotional energy from the same circumstances of
our existence, by revealing an emotional, spacious temporal emotional significance. Alternatively,
Art may be capable of stimulating the reserve fund of impressions that have been left on the soul,
without reminding us with factual experience. Thus, we accept the emotional echo, without binding
ourselves to its peculiar trend during the artistic experience. When we are in attendance before
the painting, we cannot detect, in a distinctive way, the visual forms within, but all of them are like
stimulants, that we respond to them by reference to what we possess of emotional, imaginary, and
mental values, and which have been organized by interaction with other values; the artwork is being
introduced through them.
In that manner, The Artist Abd El-Salam Eid grants simple stuffs a solemn stature, when he introduces
them into his wonderland: weave over weave, superimposed structure upon another and
accumulated pictures, that were exposed to multiple attempts of drawings, additions, and scraping
off, during years… Instinctive enjoyment in plastic formation, effluence, discovery, handling a world
of possibilities, which seduced and possessed him since long time ago. With a remarkable capacity,
all of them had been interwoven together in a complementary multi focus and lightings structure,
where he leads the eye to wander everywhere, along his life. It is a revelation to the recipient, where
the artist opens his bottom of heart, through a domain of feelings that overwhelmed all the work
aspects thus creating a sort of communication with the viewer
It is a communication, generated through astonishment: a gift presented from the Artist to his viewers;
in an excessive frown world that is droving us to stagnation.
My old berth
Sentimentalists are always attached to their old stuffs, as they restore their past days, telling them
their old stories. They do not want to be deprived of that beloved echo of their fun parties…!!
“My old Berth” is a work of Abd El-Salam Eid, reflecting his sentimental character, fondness of his
memories and stuffs, which substantiate these recalls in colors, pictures, belongings, and photographs,
picked up stuffs, statues, and small acquisitions. It is a narrative work of art, a wall of
memories…and a museum for his beloved stuffs, collected during his long navigation and coming
back. Eid opens his boxes of surprise, erecting a wall for his findings wonders. Under a dramatic
lighting, they turn to a magical panoramic demonstration, through which we overlook the expansive
world of the Artist.
The Artist says about this work: “…I did not mean to be a work of Art, but it was just a suspended
wooden area behind my working desk, at my old studio. Due to closeness of the place, there was
a sort of intimacy, all what I like I hang or fix upon that wooden board. During my work, the general
mood was creating so many dialogues among these varieties of stuffs and me. Along my wandering
trips, I used to add, modify, or delete, among my collections, which gradually developed into a
newborn entity that was whispering to me…!”
Surrounded by the warmth of these inspiring stuffs, during his innovations, the wooden wall became
an icon, a mother painting, and a nucleus of his creative career… his boat that has been laden
by all reasons of life.
At his old Studio, we can observe that wall, which accompanied him along his artistic career. All his
picked up stuffs, and small acquisitions, which are coupled with his beloved memories, are fixed
there. In addition, we can see his invented tools, pictures of all sorts, and old posters…all are yielding
finally an intensified panoramic views for several worlds, or you can say various niches inside his
memory, each one carries a stage of his life, persons, events, and memories…memories that feed
observation, thus grant to visible an emotional aspect. When our Artist recast them together with his
artistic vision, the newly creative object would carry an emotional expressive stamp.
Stuff, the Artist was tied with. In the mid sixties, during his early years at the faculty of fine Arts he
was fond of collecting: Naively tackled earthenware, which, reflecting the folkloric sense. He picked
them from Fustst, during an academic trip to study the Fatimid Cairo, a primitive sculpture of a
bird, collected during an academic trip to Sudan for distinguished students, ancient photographic
portrait of a saint, pebbles and stones, collected during a camp for distinguished students at Marsa
The Studio of the artist is now crowded with myriads of his intimate collections, where you can see:
Trees that were tinted and transformed into sculpture; picked from the agrarian Museum in Edfina,
during his military service, portrait, sculpted by his friend the Artist Tharwat Al Bahr, for their mutual
friend, the Artist Essmat Dawestashy, a miniature painting by Dawestashy. Puppets, toys, daggers,
ivory combs, bones, that were transformed to sculptures, silver statuettes from Adis Ababa, staff
of a clergy like a crosier, a wooden portrait by him during his preparatory school years, a vertebra
from the vertebral column of a shark, that has been incorporated in one of his artwork to become a
spatial creature, a bat with the wings of a fabulous bird, a photograph for one of popes during sleep,
with all his solemnity and sanctity, and just close to it, a Hindu ascetic, laid down on a frond bed,
and a picture of an Indian goddess, which is confronted with another one for Aphrodite, the Greek…
several contradicting realms and realms, through them, we are surprisingly navigating across his
mural of memories, to share with him the enjoyment of his spacious world,
we can safely assume that such work is an ideal model for the concept of unity within diversity. For
it is not dependent upon one center for the composition, but it has several dynamic focal points.
However, the work did not get stuck in the problem of chaos or confusion, depending on the balance
between similarities and differences, between object and its opposite. Balance between contradictories
is one of the prerequisites of life and art.
The Work replete with rapid transmissions between different realms, full of details and paradoxes,
like our life. Design is not organized in a unified construction, In spite of the too many details; the
artist has an autocratic hand upon the rhythm of that momentum. Which is easily flowing with professionalism
and awareness? There is no dissonance in colors or light, but a unified order, which
radiates behind all contradictions. Eventually, the viewer finds himself facing a harmonious structure
like an integrated textile. Just as the human being, apparently filled virtual chaotic confusing contradictions,
but he is able to lead them with his enlighten human mind .. Lord’s ultimate gift to man.
It would be an ideal solution for a panoramic artwork, which remind us of the hand scrolls of Japanese
art. It is a horizontal, illustrated narrative form. Combines both text and pictures, and are
drawn, painted, or stamped on hand scrolls. With these mixed elements of reality and fantasy, is the
closer form to the narrative nature of the Eid’s old Studio… the life story of the Artist
The old Studio emphasizes the emotional aspect of Abd El-Salam Eid; these stuffs did not miss
their linkage with the outer world, still capable to summon private memories within their viewer. That
capacity creates a sort of sympathy between the items and the work of art. In this respect, John
Dewey (1859-1952) Says: We measure the extent of the Artwork by the diversity of elements from
experiences, these elements are being absorbed at the perception’s core and understanding of the
viewer. They are responsible for dressing the physical bulk of the Artwork and its suggestive capacity.
As these elements are often gushed out of very vague resources, they may not be identifiable
by just a sensory remembrance, and thus creating a mysterious atmosphere with remote shadows,
where the artwork as a whole, would freely swim, but always maintaining an umbilical cord with
viewer’s heart, of all ages. And this is truly acceptable in the case of our Artist.
Dr. Amal Nasr