Vigo presents Ibrahim El-Salahi’s, “Meditation Tree”. The sculpture relates to his celebrated Tree series, inspired by the characteristics of a peculiar type of Acacia tree that grows by the banks of the Nile. The Haraz tree, indige-nous to Sudan, has unique and inspirational characteristics. This series is an on-going investigation of the tree/body metaphor, a link between heaven and earth, creator and created. It can also be viewed as a self-portrait – an anthropomorphic translation of the artists’ spiritual experience.
“They say that Haraz tree fought against the rain. Because during the rainy season and the flooding of the Nile, it is completely dry, with dry leaves, nothing at all...then during the drought it comes out with blooms and with fruit and everything. This is the definitive statement. Like saying, I am me! I am an individual! I do not follow what everyone is doing!... When everyone is going to be green let them be green, I am not.” (Ibrahim El-Salahi, Tate Catalogue, 2013)
At 90 El-Salahi is now widely seen by many curators and museums around the world as one of the most important, living African artists, the godfather of African modernism. This was underscored by the depth and range of his major solo exhibition at the Tate Modern in 2013, the first retrospective given by the Tate to an artist of African birth. Since then, MOMA, TATE, Guggenheim, British Museum, National Museum of African Art Washington, The Met and Sharjah Art Foundation have added to their collections.