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Nada Elkalaawy grew up between Egyptian and British cultures. Her personal history is her primary work material. She uses photo albums of her family stretching back up to three generations to dream up an ideal world, while experimenting with ways of shaping memories which are not always hers. By doing so she questions what should be retained from a photograph and what should be lost. Her compositions combine elements taken from several photographs, intertwining multiple temporalities and localities with purely imaginary details. Her relationship to time does not only express itself through nostalgia, but also through various production processes, whether through her paintings, animations or tapestries.

Home and domesticity are recurring themes and the mechanical process of weaving in her work describes the present moment. Tapestires becomes through their own manufacture, an embodiment of time itself, whether the accelerated speed of industrial production or the deliberate pace of the handmade. She is attracted by the materiality and the complexity of it, particularly in a new age where the generation of the image and often the output too is digital; the development of a unique technique that blends both the old-world weaving processes with the newest digital possibilities.

The individual components of her paintings may be realistically depicted, yet the overall scene is not a plausible depiction of a real moment, but rather a situation that is satirised. The scenes can be lifelike, imagined or romanticized and there is usually a psychological insight into the sentimental subject matter with a sense of irony or satire. The notion of layering in the work enables her to portray the many layers of the past, passage of time and the process of forgetting and remembering. The mark making seems to belong to a collection of images, somewhere between the drawn, the painted, the photographic and the printed. Her work has been exhibited in the UK, Greece, Italy, Ecuador and Egypt.
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