press release

In Arabic, Ana means ‘I’, ‘me’, and the ‘self’. It suggests taking responsibility, initiative and action in life; being self-reliant and self-aware rather than passive and dependent.

Hefuna is a nomadic artist, working between Germany, Egypt and New York City; a traveller aware of boundaries, differences, restrictions, misinterpretations and the entanglements and richness that come with belonging to different cultures.

When she first exhibited her drawings in Egypt, she was astounded by the audience’s interpretation of the work, which is linked with her latticework screens. Where people in the West saw abstract drawings, the Egyptians immediately saw mashrabiyas, which in the Islamic world are used to separate the outer, public world from the inner, private domain. Her drawings are often made in one sitting, an uninterrupted stream of consciousness in which the lines literally break free and fade, while small invasions of colour suggest change.

Over the last five years, Hefuna has played on the word Ana in a variety of media: video, textiles, drawings and sculpture. For this exhibition she has produced an intimate and elegant display of watercolours, ink drawings, and screens in wooden latticework and cast-bronze silver – what better material to suggest empowerment than Ana in such a weighty metal? The importance of building and trusting the self has received its perfect material and expression.

Susan Hefuna
Ana: Of Dreams, Patience and Realisations