By NY Staff
Farha Sayeed, the wife of India’s ambassador to Sana’a, recently held an exhibition entitled “Eggspressions.” Attendees had the opportunity to view her collection of carved and decorated eggshells. It takes Sayeed about three to four weeks to finish work on one of her eggshell creations.
Dr. Abdullah Mandhooq, Yemen’s Minister of Culture, was on hand to view the decorated eggshells. Speaking about the eggs on display, he said, “I’m just as surprised as everyone else here. This is a very special case of human innovation.”
The National Yemen spoke with Mrs. Farha Sayeed about her passion:
NY: How do you feel about the response to your artwork?
FS: It’s good, because this is the first time they’ve seen this kind of art in Yemen… everybody’s excited.
NY: Can you describe this type of artwork for our readers?
FS: It’s a very rare art – it’s a European art that came after Faberge. They used to do it with a lot of precious stones. I’ve tried to add some Islamic aspects to it. I’ve been doing this for a long time, almost thirteen years.
They’re actual natural eggshells which I treat and disinfect – and then I work on them. It’s very time-consuming…
NY: What’s different about exhibiting your work here in Yemen as opposed to, say, England?
FS: I had a month-long exhibition in Denmark and as you know, this art is European – where there’s a culture of Easter. During that holiday, you find a lot of painted eggs everywhere, on the streets, hanging up. Even in Denmark, it was the first time they’d seen something like this done with natural eggshells. The queen of Denmark, you know, she has the real Faberge eggs in her collection. But even while the people of Denmark were familiar with eggshell artwork, for them it was unique.
NY: How did you discover this interest?
FS: I took a proper course in this. I used to paint, but when I finally saw this art, I found myself very much attracted to it. After taking the course, I worked on it by myself for years.
NY: What’s the most interesting response you’ve received to your exhibition here?
FS: It’s difficult for people to believe that these are natural eggshells… so I have to keep eggs around to make them feel that these are eggshells I have used.