Festive Gardens – Ghizlan El Glaoui

Richly hued, Moroccan inspired luministic portraits

Ghizlan El Glaoui, Berber lady no5, 2021
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Dec 2 - Jan 31
10:00 - 17:30

Glebe Garden Gallery

Inspired by the creative impulse of her father’s studio, Hassan El Glaoui, Ghizlan has found her own voice through a multimedia approach to art which simultaneously reflects her Moroccan history but also the potentiality of a technological future. Her portraits are illuminated from behind the painted surface by LEDs which slowly cycle through different tones to vary the contrast and palette of painted elements. Thicker painted areas appearing more or less opaque depending on the light colour, which in turn changes the ambient nature of the room and thus the setting of the painting itself.  Deeply enculturated figurative works such as these can challenge some viewers if they are particularly invested in rigid forms of authenticity, but then nothing is ever that static, certainly not societies and these works reflect that.


Exhibition notes: Ghizlan El Glaoui
Ghizlan El Glaoui is a Moroccan-born artist based in London. Known for her richly hued, expressive painted portraits, her use of light and texture bridges the ancient and modern, the classical and the contemporary. A uniquely multifaceted artist, Ghizlan creates work across painting, drawing, and – in a distinctively beautiful way – light. Born in Morocco in 1969, Ghizlan spent much of her childhood in the studio of her father, the world-renowned painter Hassan El Glaoui. Often the subject of his portraits, she was immersed in his world of colour, energy and inspiration, surrounded by the familiar heady smell of paint and linseed oil. Going on to study at L’Académie Charpentier in Paris, Ghizlan developed a style inspired by her father in the use of light and colour, as well as Modigliani, Botticelli, Klimt and Da Vinci, whose vestiges can all be seen acutely in her use of line and texture.

Ghizlan El Glaoui, Berber lady no5, 2021

Ghizlan El Glaoui, Berber lady no5, 2021

Ghizlan’s stunning painted portraits of Berber women, geishas, Hollywood icons and animals are highly contemporary while hinting towards her special heritage. Raised in two worlds, her works are distinctive in both style and substance, blending the Marrakesh of her childhood with the modernity of London. Working on painted canvas in tandem with the latest LED lighting technology Ghizlan’s paintings have a mosaic-esque quality, each mark placed with careful consideration yet in constant play with the light as it glints through a grid like pattern.

Exhibition viewing is by appointment. Please visit Glebe Garden Gallery for details



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