Imaginative Spaces: An Art Performance by Basil El Halwagy and Wendy Jehlen

Created by Basil El Halwagy, and performed by Wendy Jehlen this art performance combines dance, and visual art to introduce you to characters inspired by arabesque design, calligraphy and architectural patterns.

This performance features ‘Doñagdeo’, a character created by Basil El Halwagy and played by Wendy Jehlen. ‘Doñagdeo’ is an avatar for transformation and growth. She wears a yellow suit with a vine-like, leafy pattern, intertwined around the body. The suit’s motif was inspired by an arabesque pattern typically found in mosques. Her helmet, which she wears at the end of the performance, is also inspired by samurai warrior helmets.

For this performance, El Halwagy and Jehlen draw inspiration from lives, roles, and challenges of Khadijah, Fatima, and Aisha - three of the most important women during the time of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Jehlen uses movement and dance to call attention to their trials and their impeccable faith.

El Halwagy creates wearable art characters, collectively called ‘Fine Art Superheroes’. The Fine Art Superheroes are avatars for ideas, such as transformation, harmony, protest, and creativity. El Halwagy’s Fine Art Superheroes gain special identities through integrating the human form with a dominating cultural motif. El Halwagy’s costumes use powerful and prominent fine art motifs, and, just like comic book superheroes, their suits’ color schemes and designs convey a sense of identity, with character values and virtues.