The work of modernist painter Kamala Ibrahim Ishag challenges the traditional male perspective of art in Sudan, depicting scenes of women’s lives in colours of sun, sand and sky.

Ishag’s work was part of the touring exhibition Breaking the Veils: Women Artists from the Islamic World, sponsored by the Royal Society of Fine Arts, Jordan (2002) and has also been exhibited at Galérie de l’Institut francais de Khartoum (2015); Shibrain Art Centre, Khartoum (2014); Sharjah Art Museum, UAE (1995); Whitechapel Gallery, London (1995); National Museum of Women in Art, Washington, DC (1994) and Camden Art Centre, London (1970), among others.

Ishag graduated from the College of Fine Art, Khartoum (1963) and pursued postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Fine Art, London (1964-1966). She was later employed by the College of Fine Art, Khartoum as a lecturer and then head of the painting department. In 1978, she and her students established the Crystalist Group, a conceptual art group that challenged traditional practices in Sudanese art. In the 1970s, she also participated in a residency at the Sudan National Museum, where she worked with other Sudanese artists to paint an entrance mural for the museum.

Born in 1939 in Omdurman, Sudan, Ishag currently lives and works in the Burry neighbourhood of Khartoum.


Ishag, Kamala Ibrahim

do it بالعربي

Join in, take part and collaborate as individuals, families, friends – as a community, together in do it بالعربي [in Arabic] – a project organised by Sharjah Art Foundation.