Randa’s new hobby becomes an exhibition

An example of Magdi’s work

While most people turned to binge watching television and baking sourdough during 2020, Hamlyn Terrace resident, Randa Magdi, tapped into her creative side instead, working on a collection of paintings.

To showcase her work from the past 12 months, Magdi has organised her first art exhibition, called Crazy Corona Capers, and will be showing at Central Coast Virtual Reality (CCVR) from April 24 to June 7.

Magdi, an avid creator and a lover of the arts, is also a DJ and a photographer, and was inspired to create artworks during lockdown last year.

“Like everyone else in lockdown I had a heap of time on my hands, and I found a Picasso tutorial being held live on Facebook by Jen Hall of Painty Hands and she was offering free nightly classes,” said Magdi.

This wave of creative energy was reignited, after Magdi had earlier fallen out of love with creating art.

“I’d been accepted into a couple of courses decades ago, but I decided upon another path, and I’d lost my passion to create.

“Jen’s classes helped me re-ignite that spark,” said Magdi.

Magdi started sharing her creations on Facebook, which garnered encouragement from friends who also suggested showcasing the work in a gallery.

“I was a bit shocked that people liked my work because I thought it looked childlike,” said Magdi.

The Picasso lessons reminded Magdi of her interest in drawing and painting faces, and so with her exhibition, her paintings are in a similar style to his work.

“I really like to highlight asymmetry as it’s unusual to find a symmetrical face, the ones that have this are all models… the rest of us our faces are uneven, and I like the flaws and imperfections such as uneven eyes or unusual face shapes,” said Magdi.

“I use bold colours and it brightened up my otherwise fairly dull days and I found creating these artworks therapeutic and relaxing”.

The exhibition is being sponsored by NDIS Plan management company, Planting the Seed, and will also feature wines from a Hunter Valley based winemaker.

“I had a friend’s opening at CCVR, and approached the owner, Jason McDonald, about having an exhibition there, so I showed him some of my work and Jason said yes.

“It is an amazing space and I’m really excited to showcase my work,” said Magdi.

All the artwork on display will also be available for purchase, with 10 percent of any sale being donated to Australian Seabird Rescue.

“I’m very passionate about the arts, and it is great to have opportunities like this to show off our work,” said Magdi.

“I had a very successful opening night on Saturday with limited numbers due to COVID and it has to have been one of the best nights of my life.

“Who’d have thought that at 56 I’d start a new hobby that has led to this?

“Not me, I really do think that it is never too late and you can do anything you set your mind to,” said Magdi.

Harry Mulholland