Ibrahim El-Salahi (born 1930) is a Sudanese painter, writer, critic, former politician and diplomat. His works mix African and Western elements with Arabic calligraphy, the latter which he learned throughout his childhood at the Qur’anic school his father ran.
El-Salahi often paints scenes from his childhood or meditation visions that are interwoven with Arabic calligraphy, the essential ingredient that, according to him, morphs lines into sounds and opens up a dialogue.
There is something quite magical about Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams I (1961 – 1965), a dark force that draws you in to discover its many details and fluid shapes. The head of the figures look like African masks, yet the artist himself said it made him think of the veils that Sudanese women used to wear, while they also channel the energy of the drummers and tambourine players he would see “circling wildly” during funerals and local ceremonies, chanting and praising Allah.