Good news!

1001 Nights: The Stories Of Scheherazade
Show Opened: 4/1/2008 The Stories Of Scheherazade

Way back in April I entered a competition “The stories of Scheherazade” on the EBSQ website. I’d submitted a few of my ‘Morocco’ paintings (along with their accompanying essays) but, rarely winning anything, I didn’t hold out much hope. Imagine my surprise and total delight then when, upon returning to the UK, I discovered I’ve won! And not only the first prize (Member’s Choice) but a ‘Member’s Mention’ too! How cool is that?!!!!

Needless to say, I’m absolutely thrilled and although my Moroccan paintings bear little relevance to this Greek site – I felt I just had to share my good news with you.

These are the winning entries:

“Medina Marrakech, Morocco”
Medina Marrakech, Morocco by Artist yvonne ayoub





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(Detail Images)

Detail Image
Detail Image

Media: acrylics on canvas
Dimensions: .57m x 38cm
Date of Work: 2007

Winner
Member’s Choice

“In December 2007 I was fortunate to find myself the fabulous Moroccan city of Marrakesh. Wandering through the bustling narrow streets of the old Medina, all the images I’d stored in my mind’s eye, from stories I had read, such as the Arabian Nights, and Rimsky Korsakov’s beautiful music for the Ballet ‘Sheherazade’ (which I had performed in myself, many years ago) suddenly sprang to life in front of me. I had spent many years growing up in and living in various countries throughout the Middle East but this city, with its rich tapestry of colour, cacophony of sounds, fine examples of craftsmanship and mathematical intricacies of Islamic design, simply overwhelmed me, bombarding my senses with an intensity I had never experienced before. Returning home, I felt compelled to express all I had seen and so began a series of large paintings. This painting (in acrylics on canvas, size: 1.15 x 76 cm) is the first in the series. In it I tried to incorporate all the elements of shape, colour, light and design that had so entranced me about the old Medina. Though not taken literally, word for word, I took inspiration from passages from two of the tales related by Sheherezade in her 1001 Nights, which aptly evoke all I tried to capture. The first from ‘The City Of Many-Columned Iram And Abdullah Son Of Abi Kilabah’(as translated by Sir Richard F. Burton): “I found it had two vast gates (never in the world was seen their like for size and height) inlaid with all manner jewels and jacinths, white and red, yellow and green. Beholding this, I marveled with great marvel and thought the case mighty wondrous. Then, entering the citadel in a flutter of fear and dazed with surprise and affright, I found it long and wide, about equaling Al-Medinah in point of size. And therein were lofty palaces laid out in pavilions all built of gold and silver and inlaid with many colored jewels and jacinths and chrysolites and pearls. And the door leaves in the pavilions were like those of the castle for beauty, and their floors were strewn with great pearls and balls, no smaller than hazelnuts, of musk and ambergris and saffron”. The second from ‘The Eldest Lady’s Tale’: “Presently I espied an open door, for which I made straight, and found leading to it a flight of seven steps. So I walked up and came upon a place pargeted with marble and spread and hung with gold-worked carpets and tapestry, a-middlemost of which stood a throne of juniper wood inlaid with pearls and precious stones and set with bosses of emeralds. In the further wall was an alcove whose curtains, bestrung with pearls, were let down and I saw a light issuing therefrom, so I drew near and perceived that the light came from a precious stone as big as an ostrich egg, set at the upper end of the alcove upon a little chryselephantine couch of ivory and gold. And this jewel, blazing like the sun, cast its rays wide and side. The couch also was spread with all manner of silken stuffs amazing the gazer with their richness and beauty. till at last I fared to the regions of the setting sun and abode for a space of thirty years in the Moroccan interior”.

Artist:

yvonne ayoub View this Artist's Profile
london/Skiathos, United Kingdom
Show Awards Winner - see the art
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“arabian nights 2”
arabian nights 2 by Artist yvonne ayoub
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(Detail Images)

Detail Image
sheherazade detail 1
Detail Image
sheherazade detail 2
Detail Image
preparatory sketch for ‘sheherazade’
Media: acrylics on plaster (mural)
Dimensions: 5′ x 3′
Date of Work: 2007

Winner
Member’s Mention

“Although British, I spent my early childhood years, then my early twenties and subsequently the first ten years of marriage in the Middle East and so naturally, the rich Arabic culture has always held a particular fascination for me and ultimately, has had a profound influence on my art. As a dancer, I was first introduced to Sheherazade when I performed in the Ballet of the same name. At that time I was merely enchanted by the wonderful images of mosques and minarets; silks and slave girls; desert sands and djjins, conjured-up by Rimsky Korsakov’s beautiful score. Later I read the stories (as translated by Sir Richard F. Burton) and as I matured and became more aware of Arab women’s role in their society, I came to perceive Sheherazade, the heroine of The Thousand and One Nights, as someone sadly neglected in today’s records of women of achievement. Although a legend, all legends are based on facts and she was a woman of exceptional intelligence, wisdom and bravery who not only saved her life by the telling of a series of captivating tales but also, in doing so, educated a King. She is one of the rare examples of a woman depicted as a heroine in an Arabic country. I’m thrilled, therefore, to have the opportunity, by entering this show, to pay homage to her, in my own small way. In this painting (a large wall mural in acrylics on plaster, commissioned by an Arabic restaurant in London) I’ve placed the beautiful Sheherazade, dancing in a Bedouin setting, incorporating several symbols to portray her as I see her. These include: The crescent moon: a female symbol, of feminine power (the crescent moon is a symbol of Islam). Stars: symbols of Divinity, supremacy (Islamic); attributes of the Queen of Heaven, primarily symbol of Ishtar or Venus). Jewels: Amethyst – gem of healing. Ruby – gem of royalty, dignity, love, passion, beauty. Pearls –gem of the feminine principle, moon, waters, chastity and purity. Diamonds –gem of light, life, incorruptibility, constancy, sincerity, innocence. Third Eye: symbol of spiritual consciousness, transcendent wisdom. Hands: Right-palm out – symbol of blessing, divine grace and favor (also, Islamic: the Hand of Fatima represents the Hand of God). Left hand – Hands are one of the most symbolic members of the body — the hands are said to speak. Feet: symbol of freedom; the sole is the measurement of time”.

Artist:

yvonne ayoub View this Artist's Profile
london/Skiathos, United Kingdom
Show Awards Winner - see the art
View this Artist's profile, here, at EBSQ! Email This Artist Visit This Artist's Web Site View This Artists's items available at Imagekind.com View This Artists's BLog (web log)

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More of my work can be seen on my main website:www.yvonne-ayoub.com