Dubai: GCC’s first female artist to paint underwater Maisooon Al Saleh has added another feather to her ornate cap.
Just back from Egypt, the 30-year-old Emirati told Gulf News she was chosen to represent the UAE at the Reviving Humanity Memorial at Sharm Al Shaikh where she created a sculpture that has gone on permanent display, along with the works of 72 other artists from different countries.
From the heart
Maisoon, who otherwise works with mobile applications and websites at a Dubai government entity, said she feels blessed to be able to follow her heart.
“My work titled ‘Essence of Soul’, is in fact inspired by the human heart, which is symbolic of equality. The aim of the Egypt meet was to unite the world in a mission to revive humanity that has become elusive in the wake of wars, terrorism and misfortunes,” she noted.
Maisoon, who belongs to a family of artists, said she also represented the UAE in the first UAE-Greece Cultural Week at Athens a week earlier. “I collaborated with Greek artist Christos Indonaropoulos for a joint exhibit.”
A multi-disciplinary artist, Maisoon is known for using bones and skeletal remains in her works. She said the skeletal compositions reveal stories from Emirati life, culture and history.
“All my work is inspired by true stories. Like the Dara Chronicles. My grandfather survived the passenger liner MV Dara explosion in 1961. I wanted to do something special. I set out to learn scuba diving, so I could visit the underwater site to create a unique artwork. I exhaustively researched the event and sought different views from different people. I also looked at letters about the incident written by the shipping company and police investigators, besides news articles, and stories told by survivors or family members of those who had died.”
The result was a highly acclaimed digital artwork cum painting cum installation. Subsequently, Maisoon did a spray painting on a building on 2nd December Street, part of the Dubai Street Museum project. The mural, derived from stamps based on the Dara Chronicles, were painted on the building. The project took 12 days to complete.
Maisoon entered international auctions at the age of 20. She has travelled around the world and displayed her works at many prestigious platforms.