Amir Shingray's Khartoum Opens on March 8, followed by MSF information and awareness event on Darfur
On Thursday, March 8, 2007, from 6 PM to 8:30 PM, Craig Scott Gallery presents the opening of “Khartoum,” paintings and mixed-media installation work by Amir Shingray. Some images from the "Khartoum" exhibition can be viewed by clicking here: Khartoum Exhibition Images.
An education and awareness event dedicated to the Darfur crisis immediately follows, organized in association with MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES (MSF) and sponsored by RTC Health of Toronto, at The Berkeley Church (315 Queen East at Berkeley, one block north of Craig Scott Gallery). Doors open at 8:30 PM; to cover costs, there is an admission charge of $10 at the door. At 9 PM, Marilyn McHarg, General Director of MSF Canada, speaks on MSF's work in Darfur and across the border in Chad, followed by the first set of an evening of musical harmony in diversity led by Sudanese musical sensation Waleed Abdulhamid Kush. At 10 pm, James Orbinski, international President of MSF from 1998 to 2000 (and the deliverer of MSF's Nobel Peace Prize speech), speaks on his analysis of the crisis in Darfur and on the courses of action he sees as available and appropriate. Charitable donations, including by credit card, for MSF’s work in Darfur and Chad can be made at the event at the MSF information table. The evening ends by 11:30 PM. Click here for information on The Berkeley, one of Toronto's most historic event venues: The Berkeley.
In Shingray’s “Khartoum,” Sudan’s capitol serves as biographical muse, topical focus, and metaphor for the state of humanity. Powerful work on the ongoing tragedy of Darfur (see upper left image)is presented alongside work on our post-9/11 world in which the desolation of New York is the desolation of Iraq, of Afghanistan, of Sudan. Shingray’s bold, at times frenzied, style and organe, brown and grey palette produces art that jolts the senses. Included in the show will be a nine-painting wall installation, “Landmarks (Our 9/11 World) Series.” By clicking here, one can see the nine paintings arranged on the left side of the page in rough approximation of how they appear on the wall as one work: Landmarks Installation.
Other works, such as the painting “Beheading the Pasha” (see image to upper right), also reflect on historical continuities but over a much broader time frame. Shingray focuses on the resonance of British colonial rule with the tools of government and repression employed by the regimes that have held power in Khartoum from the end of British colonization to present.
Sudan as a cauldron of conflict will also be set alongside several pieces that continue Shingray’s frequent artistic return to Istanbul as both biographical reference point and a symbolic crossroads of the world. The “Istanbul, Series 3” works conjure up the chaotic coherence that is Istanbul, while suggesting the endemic fragility and instability of what some see as principled harmony and others as simply pragmatic compromise.
Of Beja descent, Amir Shingray was raised in the Sudanese coastal city of Swakin. He left the Sudan in 1984 for Istanbul where he lived for a half dozen years. Due to circumstances in the Sudan, he came to North America, eventually making his way to Toronto in the early 1990s. Since coming to Canada, Shingray has been working primarily in the graphic design field, all the while pursuing distinctive paintings, mixed media works and drawings that are charged with raw psychic energy. Shingray's work swirls in the spaces between abstraction and repesentation. The viewer of Shingray's work will be conscious of a constant buffeting from despair to hope, from a celebration of beauty to an exploration of the human capacity for inferno. Whatever his specific subject, Shingray's sweeping gestures, bold lines, and melding of colour give birth to integrated wholes that seem to embody the movement of life itself.