Sayed Mahmoud weaving at Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre.
Sayed Mahmoud was born in 1969, Harrania village near the Nile River. His father was a farm worker, while his mother sold vegetables in their village shop.
When Sayed was 9, he joined the young Egyptian weavers after school and during summer holidays. Around the age of 13, Sayed started to show some potential and personality in his tapestries. But his heart was more into soccer. Weaving came last on his priority list. His attendance to the loom was irregular and later he took on different jobs as an unskilled laborer. He even went and wove in other weaving workshops which encouraged imitating tapestries produced at the Art Centre. Soon he realized the immense difference between the free and creative atmosphere of the Art Centre, where he was encouraged to think for himself and implement his own ideas. He returned to the Art Centre to weave full time with his friends and colleagues.
When his father passed away, he was responsible for the family as the eldest son. Every morning at 5 am, Sayed traveled nine kilometers by donkey cart to the wholesale vegetable market in Giza to buy the vegetables for his mother’s shop. Only then, could he weave at the Art Centre.
In 1990, Sayed was married to Nawara Radwan, also an active weaver. As a marriage gift, Suzanne Wissa Wassef selected the couple to attend the first International Triennial of Tapestry and Textile Arts of Tournai, Belguim. The triennial emphasized to them the importance of the Art Centre’s work. Sayed and Nawara have 4 children. Initially they lived in one room of the small family house together with Sayed’s two married brothers. Today they have their own home in Harrania.
His strong passion for weaving permits him to discover the endless capabilities of the weaving technique. Sayed's subjects vary from depicting village stories and farmer’s activates in the fields, to market places, the sea and garden landscapes with their detailed flowers and cactus. His varied tapestry collection has been part of the center’s permanent collection since the mid 80’s exhibited worldwide.
Musée Jean-Lurçat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine, Angers, France. Acquired in 1991
KMPG, Johannesburg, South Africa, Acquired in 2003
TOKARA Winery, Stellenbosch, South Africa, Acquired in 2003
Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College, London, UK. Acquired in 2007
The British Museum, Textile Centre at Blythe House, London, UK. Acquired in 2009
Conservatoire et Jardin Botanique, Geneva, Switzerland 2001
Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE 2003
"Egyptian Landscapes", Brunei Gallery, SOAS. University of London, 2006
"Ramses Wissa Wassef Tapestries", Nature in Art Trust, Wallsworth Hall, Twigworth, Gloucester, UK, 2009
"Ramses Wissa Wassef Tapestries", The Coningsby Gallery, London, UK, 2012
"Fantastic Fibers 2013", Yeiser Art Center, Padukah, Kentucky, 2013
"New Art of the Loom", Touring Exhibition curated by Dirk Holger, 2013-2015
Hillard Museum of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, USA 2013
Canada City Gallery (With Textile Triennial), Gatineau, Ottawa, Canada 2013
Musee des Artisanats du Quebec, Montreal, Canada 2014
George Mason University Art Gallery, Fairfax, Virginia, USA 2014
Appleton Museum, Ocala, Florida, USA 2014
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts, USA 2014
Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, Kentucky. USA 2014“ "Egyptian Foundation of Textile Arts", Cairo Palace of the Arts, Cairo, Egypt, 2014 "Ramses Wissa Wassef Tapestries", Nature in Art Trust, Wallsworth Hall, Gloucester, UK, 2014 "Ramses Wissa Wassef Tapestries", The Coningsby Gallery, London, UK, 2014
"Egyptian Landscapes", Yoanna Wissa Wassef and Hilary Weir, 1986 "Threads of Life", E.A. de Stefano, 1991 "Egyptian Landscapes", Suzanne Wissa Wassef, Yoanna Wissa Wassef and Hilary Weir, 2006
Stores and Galleries
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum Store, New York, NY, USA 2015-16
"Garden Pond" for sale at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2015.