“En el corazón de Mali (“In the eart of Mali”)”is the tribute of Spanish painter Irene Lopez de Castro to the village of Timbuktu and Niger. Sahelian and tropical, land of the kora and the Bogolan art.
Since her first journey to Mali, in 1989, fascinated by the beauty of the Niger River, Irene has intensified her relationship with this country every time. She has developed an extensive pictorial work dedicated to the transmission of a world of African beauty through a figurative language, imbued with a vision, which is dreamlike and, at the same time, real, bathed in a light born from the heart and the memory of every person she has known, and every place she has visited.
After a long international career, Irene exhibited her work inspired by Mali for the first time at the National Museum of Bamako in October 2017. Here, the Malian public had the opportunity to admire about thirty works and travel, by means of the eyes, distant and at the same time close, of the painter, through “The Heart of Mali”.
Now this exhibition, which explores the links between Spain and Mali, between Africa and Europe, lands in Florence, city of the arts, center of diffusion of European culture. I am convinced that Irene’s paintings will also brighten the Florentine public, who will have the opportunity to admire the richness of this Sahel country, so rich, so beautiful, and often so unknown.
Miguel Gómez de Aranda
Ambassador of Spain in Mali


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