French visual artist, Lily Yousry-Jouve’s first Namibian exhibition, titled Rocks of Silence, opened last night at the Namibia National Art Gallery and will run until February 28, it was announced in a press release. Yousry-Jouve’s father was a well-known artist in Egypt. Yousry-Jouve, of French-Egyptian descent, grew up in Paris, lived in Kenya and the Philippines and has been in Namibia since 2003. She studied law at the Sorbonne and participated in several group exhibitions and previously had three solo exhibitions. Yousry’s approach to painting landscapes is poetic with a surreal feeling. The stylized shapes, intertwining lines, scattering light and subtle colours blend the abstract with the figurative. She transforms the real within nature into the surreal. The theme of her exhibition focuses on Namibian landscapes, although not in the conventional sense. Her mystical mountains look like ogres and mysterious old men dressed in fiery ochre and red flames and the trees become immutable guardians of the lands, evoking the inevitable passage of time. Yousry’s art conveys her instant affinity to Namibia and her intuitive feeling for nature. Her works act as an invitation to discovery and remind us how majestic and fragile these lands are.
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