The Pastel Journal

Abstract & Non-Objective


Halla Shafey

Based in Cairo, Egypt, artist Halla Shafey ( describes her painting A Song for the Moonlight as “a nocturne scene of a gently moving body of water lit by the moonlight.” Her work, however, isn’t meant to suggest a specific place or time. Rather, it’s the expression of a philosophical concept—an interpretation of the four rivers of heaven referred to in the Quran. “As such,” says Shafey, “it’s a rendering of what is felt, not what is seen. The painting is enveloped in a mystical, soft light in the midst of darkness to convey this ethereal message.”

Shafey works intuitively, without photos or preliminary sketches. “When I started this work,” she says, “I had no visualization of how it would evolve or where it would end. This element of surprise makes abstract art exciting for me.”

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