Shenouda Esmat: Pandemic-Inspired Art
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
Ancient Egyptians believed in healing, in life and in eternity. They developed a method to preserve lungs in jars, with baboon heads to protect them and to keep them safe for eternity. Although their beliefs and myths are ancient, today the world continues to look for methods of healing, that humanity may be preserved, protected and united in wholeness.
Shenouda Esmat is a visual artist working with many different mediums including painting, photography, graphic design, mixed media and animation. In all the different mediums that he uses, he looks for a way to rejuvenate heritage and mythology in a contemporary language. Shenouda is deeply influenced by Egyptian heritage and historic art, particularly Ancient Egyptian and Coptic art. Some of his common subjects that he revisits are holy figures, gods of ancient Egypt, and sacred animals that were glorified in the past. In his artwork, he mixes visual elements and iconography from Egyptian heritage with modern figures and portraits, and everyday objects. It’s a practice of simultaneously reviving the old while celebrating the contemporary, and highlighting the links that bridge them across time. Since graduating from El-Minya Faculty of Fine Arts in 2000, he has participated in many group exhibitions across different mediums. He also works as a graphic designer at the Egyptian Tourist Authority. His photographs have won several heritage competitions. Part of his previous experiences include painting frescoes in Egypt’s churches, and participating in a workshop to design artisanal souvenirs for the Egyptian Museum.