safeya fawzy

The western desert:
A living sculpture.

A paper installation, that reveals the western desert as a true living sculpture. The purpose of the installation, is to bring closer not only the feeling of the western desert, but the concept of how the desert is being shaped by different elements; wind, erosion and plate tectonics. It gives an insight into why the desert is so much more than just an “empty desolated space” as dictionaries describe it. The desert has a soul, it is alive. It is in constant movement and change. Guided by a book with background information about important geological factors and pictures of my journeys.

Supervised by Ahmad Saqfalhait
Exhibition photography credits: Photo 1,2,4 by Dominic Mauri
and photo 3,5 by Ramy Radwan
Project photography credits: Safeya Fawzy
Bachelor Project | GUC German University Cairo | 2016

Abstract white paper dunes, fill the room, creating pathways to follow. The paper dunes accumulate in form of layers. Like sand that accumulates over time forming rocks. Experimental books are found resting on the layers of paper, explaining the sculptors of the desert: 1) Wind 2) Plate Tectonics 3) Erosion 4) Earth Strata.

The bachelor thesis documenting the history of the western desert, important geological background information and research journeys into the desert. Guided by explanations of the design process as well as the concept of the exhibition.

Experimental book art representing the four sculptors of the western desert. Wind, plate tectonics, erosion and earth strata.

The first book represents the wind, that carries sand and forms them to dunes. The dunes move and can have different shapes according how the wind blows.

The second book represents the movement of tectonic plates, how their collision causes upheavals, depressions and volcanic formations. Therefore shaping the landscape of the western desert, that compromises about 2/3 out of Egypt's total mass.

The third book shows the effect of erosion, sand is carried by wind and becomes a tool for shaping stones, a true sculptor. Famous examples are the mushroom shaped white limestones of the white desert (Farafra Oasis).

The fourth book shows the earth strata of the western desert. Layers of stones lying on top of each other forming the ground, starting with white limestone the youngest of stones, to sandstone deeper down and to the oldest of metamorphic rocks. The marble like structures seen in stones are the effect of tectonic movements that uplift older stone.

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