The Unique Techniques and Materials of Somali Art: A Look Inside Golal Art Gallery
April 23, 2023

Part one of two of the story around the unique techniques of Golol Gallery

Welcome to Golol Art Gallery, the first art gallery in Somalia, established in 1987 by renowned Somali artist and intellectual, Ali Said Hassan. This gallery was created to promote and sustain the cultural identity collected by generations of Somali historians, and to provide a space for Somali artists to showcase their talent and creativity.

Ali Said Hassan, who was an artist and film creator himself, was committed to helping young people that had no education to find their passion in the Arts. Harnessing his expertise and knowledge, he trained them with his authentic art techniques that truly captured and embodied the Somali cultural essence. Using unique methods such as organic oils from sesame, colors extracted from the beauty of nature, trees, flowers, and the distinct color of Somalian red sand, the collection is characterized by historical richness that depicts the cultures apt for the skilled craft.

At Golol Art Gallery, the artists used to get freshly ground spices, red sand, oils, and unique elements from the Somali nature to create a paint mixture. The paint was not only beautiful but also long-lasting, as the artists used camel urine and oils to make it last long. This unique approach to painting was one of the many ways that Ali Said Hassan helped preserve Somali culture and tradition.

A Short into to the unique artistic techniques of Golol Gallery artists

Over the years, Golol Art Gallery has become a hub for Somali artists and art lovers. The gallery has hosted exhibitions, workshops, and events that celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Somalia. The artists who trained at Golol Art Gallery have gone on to create incredible works of art, both in Somalia and beyond. Some are well-known today in the Somali community and recognised internationally.

Golol Art Gallery is not just a place to admire art, it is a testament to the resilience and strength of the Somali people. Despite the many challenges that Somalia has faced, the artists who trained at this gallery have continued to create and share their art with the world. Their work is a reminder of the beauty and complexity of Somali culture and history.

As the first art gallery in Somalia, Golol Art Gallery holds a special place in the hearts of many Somalis. It is a symbol of hope and possibility, and a reminder of the power of art to unite and inspire people from all walks of life. Ali Said Hassan’s legacy lives on through the artists who continue to create and share their work, and through the many visitors who come to Golol Art Gallery to experience the beauty of Somali art and culture.

Golol Gallery