Egyptologist James Henry Breasted called Hatshepsut “the first great woman in history of whom we are informed”. One of the very few female pharaohs that ruled Ancient Egypt, her reign lasted 20 years. Unstoppable, she dressed like a man when her rule as a woman was not accepted. That’s why she appears with an artificial beard in many statues, like the one that served as an inspiration for this piece. She carried on one of the most impressive and successful trade and construction programs in the history of Ancient Egypt. She made Egypt rich, prosperous and safe. She did not go to war. Not just unflinching, but also with exquisite taste, she commissioned some of the most elegant temples that remain from the ancient world. Her funerary temple in Deir El Bahari, looks like a masterpiece of modern architecture. Her successors tried to erase her name and her memory, but she still lives on. And her smile carved in stone, says it all.
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Malakoot Art Gallery
Dina Shalaby is a Russian-Egyptian visual artist focusing on modern art inspired by Ancient Egypt.
Having always been at the intersection of two opposite worlds, be it cultures, creeds, values, or expressions – harmonizing differences has become a way of life. Regardless of the what and where, she always perceived herself as a bridge and an interpreter.
After a long journey of trying to find acceptance for contradictions within oneself and others, she finally stumbled upon that Holy Grail, and it turned to be right here, home, only a few millennia back.
To this day, Ancient Egypt remains a mighty master in the realm of tolerance, harmony and acceptance where duality is not only tolerated but glorified as the motor of Life. This was the door through which Dina embarked on her art journey a few years ago.
Dina has an infatuation with materials that were extensively used by Ancient Egyptians, especially cartonnage / papier mâché, gold leaf and papyrus. She also loves creating digitally enhanced replicas of her handmade work.
Dina held two solo exhibitions in Cairo at Fabrika Media & Arts Center in March 2019 and Nout Art Gallery in October 2020. She took part in five group exhibitions including in Nut Art Gallery, Luxor Art gallery (Daughters of The Nile, Nov2019) and Nun art Gallery (Jan 2022, Feb 2020). She also shares her art through her online platform www.malakoot.art