The Egyptian Laila El Sadda is part of the Art Trio, a collective of women artists that also includes al-Assmaa Taki Deen and Mariam Mahdy. El Sadda’s art reflects her practice, showing the intimacy of women’s collectives and sociability. Her paintings depict groups of women with large, Horus-like (or khamsa/hand of Fatima–like) eyes, looking out of the frame with clear, serene gazes. As a focal point, the eyes center the paintings as they seem to center the figures.

A series of El Sadda’s recent works show women pressed close together, their arms wrapped protectively around one another in friendship and solidarity. On a Facebook page where she shows much of her work, El Sadda (2019b) writes, “When women support each other, incredible things happen.” In Cairo West Magazine she reflects on the importance of social...

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