24 April, 2018 - 10 May, 2018



Artist Statement


This trip came about spontaneously.  In 2009, Libyan art collector Abdulmagid Breish organized a two week trip to Spain. I was invited to join him with Dia Azzawi and Ibrahim El Salahi.  The motivation was the desire to explore the deep fascination with the Islamic history of Andalusia that we all shared in the hope that it would inspire our art. The only stipulation was that, after the trip, each of us was to produce twelve works on canvas in a variety of agreed upon sizes.


We began our journey in Malaga and moved on to Toledo, Seville, Granada and Cordoba.  We found evidence of a long gone era of Islamic culture everywhere we looked, from the food to the architecture and music, from the notes of Ziryab echoing through the flamenco music, to the Arabic sounding names of cities and towns, and saffron and herbs that flavor the foods.  


It was under this heady influence that I returned to my studio and gave in to the compulsive desire to create work inspired by the trip without subjecting it to any analysis or self-censure.  I incorporated photographs I had taken into the paintings creating mixed media collages.  The art poured out of my memories of the trip directly on the canvas.  I allowed the sights, sounds, smells, colours and patterns to find their way into the works. Within four months, I had completed the twelve works. 


Mohammed Omar Khalil 2018