Kunst Symposium i Egypten

Art Symposium in Egypt

Lot Winther Studio

Dear All,

It's been a wild ride these past few weeks - first starting with a few days off in Stockholm and Uppsala, visiting an old friend and enjoying the cool, Swedish nature - and then Egypt.

Egypt was a wonderful adventure. In the late summer I was selected to participate in the symposium, which gave me a trip to Egypt with 7 artist colleagues from Denmark and Egypt.
The purpose of the program facilitated by DEDI (Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Initiative) is to create dialogue and exchange between Egyptians and Danes.
We started in Cairo, got a feel for each other and a whole lot to see in the first few days in the big city. Among other things, a bunch of galleries and exhibitions, meeting artists, being inspired by the contemporary art scene, visiting a comics festival and being positively overwhelmed by the diversity of places, people and things there.
Barely digesting the first impression of the capital, which only begged hunger for more, we hopped on a train through the magnificent countryside to Aswan. The beauty of arriving at night is the surprise you get the following morning - my god I was surprised. And peaceful. It was as if the loud sound of the city had been replaced with a long sound of silence. It was as if I was back in the countryside where I grew up and my whole inner process could really blossom.
We would spend the next 8 days in a beautiful hotel on the Nile. Visiting the great temples of Philae and Abu Simpel, sailing Lake Nasser at the Aswan Dam - oh, and I even tested my boating license by sailing the Nile on one of our many trips between cultural sightseeing. We got a thorough impression of the Nubian culture and gained insight into their traditions, crafts and way of life. I was amazed at the botanical island where one of the workers would give us a tour of the wonders of the garden's many seeds, flowers and mysteries. Overall, I was just amazed by the open mindedness and sense of community among the locals in Aswan and how they shared it with us. Whether it's crafts, coffee making, music, stories or just their time.

Lot Winther Art Symposium Egypt DEDI
Lot Winther Studio
It seemed like wherever I went, whoever I met would always encourage me to sit down, take time, and breathe. A few nights into our stay, we began to see thunder, and it was the first storm in 11 years - oddly enough, one of the themes for the symposium was water, and it was equally funny and tragic. It did no harm to us or where we stayed, but given Aswan is not at all used to storm, nor rain, it took quite the time to clean up the day after. There was flooding, and the storm had an effect on the scorpions, that were suddenly to be found in the city. We were a little paranoid, but also just surrendered to the effect of this weather. The day after with no water or electricity was a slow one, and it was nice with some peace and quiet. Everyone carried on with a joyful spirit. I always find it beautiful when we're being humbled and come to some sort of surrender.
A couple of days after the storm, I met up with a local photographer, Mostafa, and was he good! We had a ton of fun shooting some paintings in the making and trying out some of his ideas. We ended up spending the rest of the day together with one of my artist colleagues, partly in dialogue and playing with a local family.
I will miss the open heart, mind and home here.
The last couple of days in Egypt, I spent in Cairo. Partly checking out the final touristy things - among the Sphinx and Pyramids, and wow! - partly chasing cheap art supplies and of course finger rings in Zamalek. Clubbing, checking local markets, attending gallery openings, Mohamed Ali's Palace, mosques and what not. I was as busy as Cairo itself!
Lot Winther Studio
Lot Winther Studio DEDI Art Symposium
Lot Winther Studio DEDI Art Symposium
Now, I've barely had time to digest this wonderful adventure, as I'm leaving for Costa Rica - but what an adventure. Not only did I get to see so much of the Egyptian art scene, I got new artist friends, who are ever so inspirational. I'm both thrilled and frustrated with the amount of inspiration from this trip - and especially the talents of my colleagues. I wish I had a time pocket to dig into and create everything they inspire me to. I share this with one of them, and she reassures me I have the rest of my life to live out whatever I'm inspired to. Thank you for that.
Lot Winther Studio creative process
On that note; better get started.
Lots and lots of light,
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