Having shared 10 years of their lives together, Sudanese artist Salah Elmur and Egyptian artist Souad Abdelrasoul have each adopted their own unique styles of art, which somehow wholly complement each other as well.
This artist couple share a studio which they regularly visit to work on their pieces – a space that is a wonderful reflection of the couple’s essence, full of miscellaneous antique collected items and prized possessions, in addition to old work, new work, and even some of their young daughter’s work.
Reputed on both local and international scenes, Elmur’s work can be found in public and private collections across the world; his paintings have been exhibited (in both solo and group exhibitions) in Egypt, the UAE, Sudan, Syria, Jordan, France, Washington D.C., Uganda, and Kenya – among other locations, and he has even participated in a group exhibition at the British National Museum in London. As for Abdelrasoul, she also reached an impressive amount of success, having exhibited her work in various group exhibitions in Egypt, as well as 1-54, The African Art Fair in London. Most recently, she also held a solo exhibition at the Mashrabia Gallery in downtown Cairo in early 2019.
“We have a strong foundation together,” said Abdelrasoul when asked what it’s like balancing their personal life with their work as artists. Elmur continued to say that they have a mutual understanding of each other both as individuals and as artists and that both of them working in the same field comes in handy when it comes to criticism or comments on each other’s works. “[Salah] has helped me organize my mind,” commented Abdelrasoul on how having her husband around has affected her artistic process.
As evident through his work, Elmur has a background in graphic design which comes through in his meticulously constructed paintings. Abdelrasoul on the other hand, has more of a free hand in her work as her brush strokes seem wilder.
While Abdelrasoul paints from a personal or emotional place, Elmur gets most of the inspiration for his work from daily scenes, antique objects (such as the ones he is so fond of collecting), travel, or even old photographs. Elmur’s work also greatly revolves around his Sudanese roots.
As they slightly engaged in comforting ‘married couple’ bicker and shared a few giggles, I took some photographs of their shared work space; I couldn’t help but feel their souls shine through their artworks – artworks that have layers of stories to tell.