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Women of the Sahel 

From May 21, 2021 until July 25, 2021Every day from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (every Monday through Sunday, including holidays).
Casa Árabe Hall of Columns (at Calle Alcalá, 62, Basement Level). Every day from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (every Monday through Sunday, including holidays). Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In Spanish.

As of May 21 at its Madrid headquarters, Casa Árabe will be hosting this exhibition, which includes approximately twenty mixed-media works by Spanish artist Irene López de Castro, produced during her trips to the region.

More specifically, the exhibition includes landscapes and scenes from Timbuktu, a city in which the artist has spent long periods of time growing familiar with features of the local culture and the work by women in the Gouna Tiere Association, a very active organization in the field of women’s empowerment projects and environmental conservation.
The exhibition was organized within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the General Assembly of the Sahel Alliance.
In conjunction with the exhibition at Casa Árabe, the artist will also be presenting “Bogolanfini: The Legacy of Mali’s Women,” another exhibition which she curated, at Casa África in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, thus contributing to the homage which we are paying to the women of the Sahel at both Casa Árabe and Casa África.
“When you look at Irene López de Castro’s paintings—with that yellowish sky, the dunes, the great river in which small boats leave their wake, the adobe houses in the most typical Sahelian style—it is impossible not to feel as if you were traveling to the heart of the Sahara. You feel the wind blowing through the women’s tunics, the heat drying out your nose, the fine sand in your eyes... These landscapes and the faces of the people who inhabit them convey the harshness of the desert to us and, at the same time, the tranquil passage of time, in a place where the clock seems to have stopped, sites in the middle of nowhere which are at once the center of all life in the middle of the sand.”
Translation of an excerpt from the text by Rosa Martín Tristán about the exhibition.
Irene Lopez de Castro, a Spanish painter with an international career, has been traveling, painting and exhibiting her work inspired by the Sahel in Spain and other countries, including Italy, France and South Korea, for more than thirty years. The Spanish Embassy in Mali and Burkina Faso organized her solo exhibition “Au coeur du Mali” at the Musée National du Mali in 2017, and it then toured to Florence with Italy’s San Lorenzo Gallery. In 2019, “Women of Timbuktu” was held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Cordoba, and recently “Guardians of Timbuktu” at the Reial Cercle Artistic, which was organized by Gram Wilhelm, in conjunction with the Institut Catalunya Africa.  

She will soon be publishing “Memories of the Niger River,” a book on her travels to seek inspiration in Mali. www.irenelopezdecastro.com @irenelopezdecastroart
Women of the Sahel 
Imagen: Mujeres de Tombuctú (Irene López de Castro).