DUBAI: Clement studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, but later did courses in art and pursued both fields for several years. After moving to Abu Dhabi in 2018, she decided to focus solely on art. Through various series of oil on canvas paintings created in the UAE, Clement is sharing her feelings about uprooting herself from her own country, adapting to a new place and new cultures, and beginning to feel at home in the UAE.
Her first series, Love Reflections features a pair of hands in gestures evoking anxiety. “I began this series in France and finished it here. Moving to Abu Dhabi was a big change in my life and these hands in the darkness express my uneasiness about the unknown and the scary feeling of losing control,” the artist says.
After she felt settled in Abu Dhabi, she began the series, Hopiness — a word she coined by combining hope and happiness. It features colourful paintings of people in different poses. Other series in the exhibition indicate her love for painting faces. Introspection, featuring close-up views of faces, is about looking deep into the soul of a person to discover their real self; and Faces reflects the multicultural community of the UAE. Another series, Freedom features joyful portraits of women indicating how comfortable she now feels here.
“These paintings depict my personal evolution over the last year. It was difficult for me to move from my secure life in France, but now I am looking forward to the future and a beautiful life here. I have met people of many different nationalities here, and I have learnt that the most important thing is to be alive and to have plans. I have seen people patiently waiting and hoping for a better future and realised that the notion of time in various cultures is different from that in Paris. My palette is also changing with the bright skies and new light, and it is inspired by the colours of the fabrics, spices and handicrafts from various countries that I see in the souks. This exhibition is about introspection, self-awareness, and coming to terms with our own feelings as well as a tribute to the spirit of tolerance I have experienced here,” the artist says.
‘Feelings’ will run at La Galerie, Alliance Française Dubai, Oud Metha Road until January 4, 2020.