Nature Abstract: Photographs by Zohair Mohsen
Saturday March 9, 2019: 9:00am to Sunday April 7, 2019: 6:00pm
Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Exhibit
A Capture in Words. Zohair Mohsen brings together two distinct worlds of nature in his photography: the intricate details of entomology and science meld into the exquisite harmony and organic wholesomeness of natural art. He is able to capture this marriage between human wisdom and mother earth’s glamour through decades of study and a creative passion that unfolds with every moment into unique glimpses of the spontaneous art that surrounds us.
The most apparent refraction that emerges from his lens and captivates the audience are the myriad of colors in his photos. Like a perfect painting commissioned by mother nature itself, Mohsen is able to capture the magic of nature through this contrast of hues and shades as can be seen in the smallest butterfly or bee embracing a flower, expanding to a majestic tree that basks in the glory of the sun in a chilling winter’s day.
Beneath the surface of these narrative of colors, one can also appreciate the photographer’s awareness of the nuances of science that animate an insect’s daily routine in a vast world of beauty and survival. From this perspective, each of Mohsen’s photographs emerges not only as art, but a narrative of intricate detail taking place on the stage of nature. Each movement of a living organism translates into a momentous yet ephemeral monologue through an artist’s eyes.
And yet, the liveliness of Mohsen’s photographs do not halt at the movements of ants or flutters of butterflies. Rather, he is able to bring an aging tree bark back into life through his ability to capture the entire spectrum of texture on the surface. In turn, one receives the premonition that this tree is performing, through its natural wrinkles, years of experience and countless living organisms that have traversed its body of browns, greys and greens.
The same cartography can also be seen in the artist’s ability to encompass the majestic beauty of a tiny flower. The gentleness of a bud, when seen from a distance, is transformed through the artist’s lens into a monumental exploration of nature’s glory. Even though photographs cannot capture fragrance, one can nevertheless witness the contours of this perfume in the overwhelming presence of natural expressions of beauty at such a close range.
Bringing together the various elements of nature, Mohsen’s capture of a bee’s ordained engagement with the heart of a rose further encapsulates the pulsing life of nature. Most auspiciously, the artist conveys beautifully to his audience the wonders that take place at the microcosmic level of roses and bees and how these mirror the macrocosmic narratives in an entire forest, consisting of tribes of trees and flowers.
It is these recurring themes, colors and movements that make Mohsen’s work unique. A small colorful bird standing regally on a tree branch pays homage to the bee or butterfly embracing the rose’s heart and ants patiently marching across aging tree barks or dying leaves. It is the artist’s creative sensibility, passion and deep knowledge of nature that grants him this aesthetic ability to reproduce the secrets of nature in each of his works.
–Ali Hussain, PhD. Islamic Studies, Creative Writer