Salah Elmur’s (b. 1966, Khartoum, Sudan) work displays a fertile visual vocabulary that draws on his observations of life, returning to childhood and youth for the scenes, situations, and impressions that he depicts in his work. Heavy symbolism, a tendency towards vivid color combinations, and distortion of natural figures and proportions are some of the markers of Elmur’s painting.
Elmur studied Graphic Design at the College of Fine and Applied Art, Sudan University, Khartoum. With a career spanning three decades, he has participated in group and solo exhibitions in East Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and America since 1985. Elmur has also published 12 children’s books and is a successful filmmaker; directing six short documentaries and fantasy films, which have been shown at international film festivals. In February 2018, the Sharjah Art Museum in the UAE held Fragrances of the Forest and Photos, a retrospective of Elmur’s work. In 2018 his work was exhibited in Forests and Spirits, an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London alongside two luminaries of Sudanese modernism, Kamala Ishaaq, and Ibrahim El Salahi. He participated in a group exhibition at the British National Museum and his work is collected widely and is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) in Marrakech and the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF).
His works in the Africa First Collection are rare early works on paper that he made when he first came to Nairobi in the 1990s.Read an interview with Salah Elmur conducted by Danda Jaroljmek, Founder of Circle Arts Agency and Circle Art Gallery, conducted at Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya.