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Gallery Talks: In Conversation with Iman Toufaily

In the final phase of our Gallery Talk series, we explore each artist's influence, process. and core themes depicted in their works - at our recent group exhibition ‘Interconnected’, in collaboration with Arneli Art Gallery. Iman Toufaily is a Lebanese artist with an MA in Plastic Arts.

With a bold and experimental approach, she is constantly researching new ways to express her experience reflecting contemporary events and vital transitions in the world.

Iman paints obscured figures in seemingly isolated states with a balanced heterogeneous play across bright and dark colours, presenting a different perspective in abstract image details, while applying a textural emphasis on her figures, giving them extra layers of texture and smoother finishes for background surfaces.

Conceptualising personal experiences and socially relevant themes through artistic experimentations, Toufaily's works crossfade throughout different emotions, highlighted in thin yet visible brush strokes of acrylic paints.

Merging disparate exploratory abstract and figurative techniques. Her striking approach borders on evoking intense expressive feelings, she further explores strong themes spotlighting the women’s right movement, additionally probing into themes of patience and strength from a point of intense introspection.

What inspires your style?

Personal life experience as a wife, mother and a woman

What sort of experimentation has led you to your current style as an artist?

Problems and happiness encountered during my life

Why did you start making art? How did you kickstart your artistic endeavour?

Enthusiasm and passion

What other artists, genres or movements do you draw inspiration from?

Expressionism and Impressionism

If you could change one aspect of society or social issues through your work, what would it be?

Women rights , how men looks at women

What do you do to get into your creative zone?

I think a lot

What are the biggest challenges you've had in your art?

Economic crisis in Lebanon, scarcity of materials, marketing of the art works.

What ultimate messages do your creative expressions convey?

Women's voice to be heard

Are there any thoughts you wish to share in relation to the theme of interconnectedness? (the impact the global events of the last 3 years have had in your artistic endeavors as a female artist)

Covid 19 impacted as I could not see my children and since my daughter works as a nurse

Has technology had any impact on your artistic practice? In what ways has it affected or shaped it?

Technology affected positively specially with the new online galleries. My work was seen worldwide.

Are there recurring themes in your work, or any that have emerged as your work has evolved?

Still expressing my personal issues

What are you working on now and next?

Improving the women related work to express them on behalf of women worldwide.


INTERCONNECTED - A group exhibition of 18 women artists from across Africa and the Middle East; showcasing 36 works in a variety of mediums and perspectives outlined in paintings, mixed media and digital art. Bordering between the known and the unknown, abstraction and figuration; the selected artists examine the interconnected complexities of human experience detailed through distinct artistic styles and approaches - in personal theory and form. Visit the exhibition here.


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