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Sur la route de Sidi Bou

Sur la route de Sidi Bou



Title: Sur la route de Sidi Bou
Year Completed: 2019
Size: 190 x 250 cm
Technical: Oil on canvas

Having grown up in Sidi Bou Saïd, a place emblematic of the richness and diversity of Tunisian culture, Emna is steeped in this culture, where Andalusian, Arab and Berber influences blend harmoniously and continuously nourish her painting. Intense light illuminates every street corner, accentuating the brilliant shades of blue that merge with the sea. The dazzling beauty of the fruit is an invitation to an unforgettable sensory experience. The decorative motifs found in arabesques, handicrafts and local ceramics reveal an exceptional cultural heritage and have profoundly shaped and nourished her artistic identity. She is fascinated by the way these tiny motifs on ceramics stand out from the shiny surface and contrast with the color of the ceramic. The vivid, velvety texture of a piece of fruit or the opalescence of a ceramic, present both in her everyday environment in Tunisia and in the works of Louyse Moillon, the 17th-century still-life painter, are the driving force behind her work. In her recent works, on large-format canvases, she depicts fragments on a black background: often a fragment of fruit and a fragment of ceramic, whose color contrasts with that of the fruit. The two fragments are separated by ditch-like brown and stand out incisively from the black background. She doesn't depict things in their entirety, but only their liveliest, most expressive parts, for example the velvety skin inside a fruit or the part of a ceramic piece revealing a pattern. The choice of a black and brown background separating the two fragments creates a strong visual tension, highlighting the contrast between the textures and colors of the two elements represented. Painting these fragments in large format gives a new, surprising dimension to these objects, which acquire an unexpected visual power. In this way, Emna highlights those elements of everyday life that are often overlooked or considered unimportant and focuses the viewer's attention on the most vibrant details of these objects, their hidden beauty, vivacity, and presence.

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