Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated Is Brought To You By Princess Alia Al-Senussi & Elisa Sednaoui Dellal This Autumn

Sotheby’s / WWW.JESSECARMODY.COM

Elisa Sednaoui Dellal and Alia Al-Senussi

Sotheby’s / WWW.JESSECARMODY.COM

The pair are very much known on the art scene and their carefully considered hand-picked pieces resonate with them, strike a cord or bring about a feeling, as all art should. Expect seventeen works from the likes of Antony Gormley, Monir Farmanfarmaian, Georg Baselitz and Basim Magdy, to name a few.

It gets even better as the sale of ten works will benefit the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation’s Funtasia project. The non-profit organisation that offers access to innovative, hands-on creative learning experiences and programs to children and adults.

So, make sure this is in the diary, the poignant curation of works will be placed on public exhibition from 15 - 18 November in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries, ahead of the auction on the 19 November. Get bidding.

Felicity Carter: What’s your first memory of art?

Alia Al-Senussi: Travel has to be my ultimate memory—travel and experience of communities and cultures around the world. Growing up in Egypt, we visited the pyramids whenever family from Minnesota came to town. Seeing my father in Rome, I would wander through the decorated galleries and streets of the city. Although not art in the literal sense, I was mesmerised by history, which instilled in me a deep appreciation, and desire to explore Egypt’s culture, world culture and how history shapes the present and makes the future. My first full time job was as a project coordinator for Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s Ship of Siwa, in the Western Desert of Egypt—a rather fitting beginning to my professional life, starting in Egypt all over again, and showing me the power of contemporary art in an ancient setting.

Elisa Sednaoui: My first memory is of my mother and her very good friend and artist, Chant Avedissan in Cairo. He often painted her and I still have the portraits he did, which may not be what Chant became most known for, but for me, they capture a beautiful memory of my mother as his muse.

FC: How would you sum up the aesthetic of your curation?

ES: It was very important for us that the sale truly captured the essence of who we are, our stories growing up in the Middle East, and our time in Cairo. It is of course so much about the lives we have built for ourselves outside of this too, and the different places we have both shared experiences in from London to Los Angeles.

There is certainly an openness to our curation, which reflects the work I do for the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation, a non-profit organisation which I established in 2013. What we are passionate about is creating safe learning spaces, where individuals have the opportunity to explore personal interests, learn fundamental life skills, widen their perspective and deepen their awareness.


FC: How did the collaboration come about with Sotheby’s?

AAS: It was an art world friend and colleague of mine, Ashkan [Baghestani, Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Specialist], who reached out to us first. Drawing on our mutual interest in, and long history of, working with Middle Eastern artists, he felt that together we could put a different stamp on Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated sale. This is so close to our own hearts, and was also a wonderful way to showcase all that Elisa does with ESF – the auction will feature ten works to benefit the charity, and I hope people enjoy them just as much as we do.

FC: What qualities do you look for in a piece of art? What do you want it to provoke/bring about?

AAS: Every work of art can tell a million different stories, and every person has the freedom to discover what that can mean to them. Ultimately, it is about what speaks to you when you stand in front of it, and that entirely personal moment of magic, when a painting takes on a new depth of significance so far beyond its material existence. I believe in art that illustrates beauty, and art that is meaningful—to society and to community.

FC: Which pieces resonate with you the most and why?

AAS: There are so many works in this collection which resonate with us! We have strong links to the Middle East so we wanted to include a number of works from the region. In fact, we both share close working relationships with some of these artists, including Youssef Nabil and Basim Magdy. Magdy’s work represents so much to me—I love that he is a creator but at the same time someone deeply connected to his community—in Egypt but also in Basel, where he resides, and a city that I hold very dear because of my work with Art Basel.

ES: Francesco Clemente’s work has been an important source of inspiration since I discovered it. I truly love how he manages to convey the essence of an individual, and the work in this sale will be offered for the benefit of FUNTASIA. Also Shirin Neshat, the stories she tells as a woman, and the way she lives her life across East and West – this resonates very closely with me.


FC: Tell us what the sale is in aid of...

ES: Ten works from the sale will be offered to benefit the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation’s FUNTASIA project, which provides children across the globe the opportunity to participate in creative and innovative educational programs to help them express themselves and gain confidence in problem solving, cultural exchange and building communities. The project employs a truly multi and cross-cultural approach to education, and this is reflected in the works we chose. Sotheby’s autumn edition of Contemporary Curated will take place on 19 November but free to view in Sotheby’s London galleries from Friday 15 November.

AAS: I was recently able to visit the birthplace of FUNTASIA, in Luxor. Experiencing the community built by FUNTASIA first hand was magical, and truly indescribable. I understood the power that Elisa has had in building confidence through creativity in a part of the world that has had an ancient connection to culture but needed a push to make that contemporary bridge. I can only imagine what it does for the countless children that are there every week. I was also amazed that I actually made a drawing—my first since primary school!

Learn more on the Sotheby’s website.

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Academic and patron, Princess Alia Al-senussi and model and social entrepreneur, Elisa Sednaoui Dellal have one thing in common, a love for art and it's ability to empower and connect cultures and communities. As such, they bring their very own take to the Autumn edition of Contemporary Curated at Sotheby’s in London. 

The pair are very much known on the art scene and their carefully considered hand-picked pieces resonate with them, strike a cord or bring about a feeling, as all art should. Expect seventeen works from the likes of Antony Gormley, Monir Farmanfarmaian, Georg Baselitz and Basim Magdy, to name a few.

It gets even better as the sale of ten works will benefit the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation’s Funtasia project. The non-profit organisation that offers access to innovative, hands-on creative learning experiences and programs to children and adults.

So, make sure this is in the diary, the poignant curation of works will be placed on public exhibition from 15 - 18 November in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries, ahead of the auction on the 19 November. Get bidding.

Felicity Carter: What’s your first memory of art?

Alia Al-Senussi: Travel has to be my ultimate memory—travel and experience of communities and cultures around the world. Growing up in Egypt, we visited the pyramids whenever family from Minnesota came to town. Seeing my father in Rome, I would wander through the decorated galleries and streets of the city. Although not art in the literal sense, I was mesmerised by history, which instilled in me a deep appreciation, and desire to explore Egypt’s culture, world culture and how history shapes the present and makes the future. My first full time job was as a project coordinator for Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s Ship of Siwa, in the Western Desert of Egypt—a rather fitting beginning to my professional life, starting in Egypt all over again, and showing me the power of contemporary art in an ancient setting.

Elisa Sednaoui: My first memory is of my mother and her very good friend and artist, Chant Avedissan in Cairo. He often painted her and I still have the portraits he did, which may not be what Chant became most known for, but for me, they capture a beautiful memory of my mother as his muse.

FC: How would you sum up the aesthetic of your curation?

ES: It was very important for us that the sale truly captured the essence of who we are, our stories growing up in the Middle East, and our time in Cairo. It is of course so much about the lives we have built for ourselves outside of this too, and the different places we have both shared experiences in from London to Los Angeles.

There is certainly an openness to our curation, which reflects the work I do for the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation, a non-profit organisation which I established in 2013. What we are passionate about is creating safe learning spaces, where individuals have the opportunity to explore personal interests, learn fundamental life skills, widen their perspective and deepen their awareness.


FC: How did the collaboration come about with Sotheby’s?

AAS: It was an art world friend and colleague of mine, Ashkan [Baghestani, Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Specialist], who reached out to us first. Drawing on our mutual interest in, and long history of, working with Middle Eastern artists, he felt that together we could put a different stamp on Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated sale. This is so close to our own hearts, and was also a wonderful way to showcase all that Elisa does with ESF – the auction will feature ten works to benefit the charity, and I hope people enjoy them just as much as we do.

FC: What qualities do you look for in a piece of art? What do you want it to provoke/bring about?

AAS: Every work of art can tell a million different stories, and every person has the freedom to discover what that can mean to them. Ultimately, it is about what speaks to you when you stand in front of it, and that entirely personal moment of magic, when a painting takes on a new depth of significance so far beyond its material existence. I believe in art that illustrates beauty, and art that is meaningful—to society and to community.

FC: Which pieces resonate with you the most and why?

AAS: There are so many works in this collection which resonate with us! We have strong links to the Middle East so we wanted to include a number of works from the region. In fact, we both share close working relationships with some of these artists, including Youssef Nabil and Basim Magdy. Magdy’s work represents so much to me—I love that he is a creator but at the same time someone deeply connected to his community—in Egypt but also in Basel, where he resides, and a city that I hold very dear because of my work with Art Basel.

ES: Francesco Clemente’s work has been an important source of inspiration since I discovered it. I truly love how he manages to convey the essence of an individual, and the work in this sale will be offered for the benefit of FUNTASIA. Also Shirin Neshat, the stories she tells as a woman, and the way she lives her life across East and West – this resonates very closely with me.


FC: Tell us what the sale is in aid of...

ES: Ten works from the sale will be offered to benefit the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation’s FUNTASIA project, which provides children across the globe the opportunity to participate in creative and innovative educational programs to help them express themselves and gain confidence in problem solving, cultural exchange and building communities. The project employs a truly multi and cross-cultural approach to education, and this is reflected in the works we chose. Sotheby’s autumn edition of Contemporary Curated will take place on 19 November but free to view in Sotheby’s London galleries from Friday 15 November.

AAS: I was recently able to visit the birthplace of FUNTASIA, in Luxor. Experiencing the community built by FUNTASIA first hand was magical, and truly indescribable. I understood the power that Elisa has had in building confidence through creativity in a part of the world that has had an ancient connection to culture but needed a push to make that contemporary bridge. I can only imagine what it does for the countless children that are there every week. I was also amazed that I actually made a drawing—my first since primary school!

Learn more on the Sotheby’s website.

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Based in London, Felicity commentates on style, the arts and culture and continues to interview a line-up of artists, actors, and musicians along with leading designers

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