Salmah Almansoori's Firetti Contemporary
Salmah Almansoori’s Solo Show at Firetti Contemporary
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The Firetti Contemporary gallery offers one to have a look at Emirati artist Salmah Almansoori’s diverse art pieces. On view until 20 December 2023, this introductory solo show of hers features three series of works: Demolished, Who I Became, and Unfolding. Each is devoted to the themes of home, memory, and identity.

Demolished, Almansoori’s ongoing series of paintings, documents the areas of Ghayathi, her hometown, which are to be demolished soon, and unveils the often-overlooked aspects of these remnants of the city. Exposing new questions and revelations regarding the lives of those who once inhabited or worked in the now abandoned buildings, the artworks invite us to contemplate their movements within the space and the things they left behind.

Salmah Almansoori, Demolished #03/50, 2021-2023. Mixed media on paper. 59.4 x 42 cm

The Who I Became project delves into the relationship between Almansoori’s environment and her identity. By examining images of her hometown and diving into memories, the artist explores how the act of inhabiting a space shapes who she eventually becomes. To produce the works from the series, Almansoori transfers photos onto tiles gathered in spaces she’s inhabited throughout her life. 

This project includes Doors, an artwork in which the artist examines the symbolism of open and closed doors in abandoned locations. While open doors signify welcome, closed ones represent exclusion. The art piece is a diptych created using a silk screen to print two doors (one open and one closed) on found objects collected in the same abandoned places.

Salmah Almansoori, Doors, 2022. Screen print and ink on found objects.

Focusing on Ghayathi, the Unfolding series is dedicated to the complex relationship with the sense of place. In this project unravelling the essence of the site, Almansoori sheds light on the tangible and intangible aspects of spaces. In her mixed media works incorporating fabric, she contemplates the physicality of these locations, which encompasses architectural structures and the division between private and public areas. The addition of colour is informed by memories, emotions, and experiences connected with these places.

About the artist

Salmah Almansoori (b. 2001, Ghayathi, Al Dhafra), a multidisciplinary artist based in Abu Dhabi, received her BFA in Visual Arts from Zayed University (Abu Dhabi) in 2023 (this year). Her practice, which explores the intersections of place and memory, incorporates painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, and installations. 

At the core of Almansoori’s art is the concept that a place is more than just a geographical location: it can be a key to understanding how our identities are constructed in the world. The artist believes that physical locations absorb thoughts, emotions, and memories. For her, a sense of place can connect us more deeply to our roots. However, it can also lead us to question, challenge, or even reject our origins, culture, and identity. Almansoori’s artworks are inspired by her hometown of Ghayathi and the physical environment of the Emirates.

Salmah Almansoori, Unfolding, 2022-2023. Acrylic paint on cotton fabric. 200 x 250 cm

Almansoori has displayed her artworks in many exhibitions which include Time and Identity (Al Safa Art and Design Library, Dubai, 2023); The International Small Art Phenomenon (Rochester Contemporary Art Center 6×6, New York, USA, 2023); Weaving Memory (Youth Hub, Abu Dhabi, 2023); International Art Exhibition (Puertas Adentro, Punta Del Este, Uruguay, 2022); Ren House Art Exhibition (The Ren House, Dubai, 2022);  Video Work (Maria Library Auditorium, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, 2021); and 4th INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL MEDIA TRIENNIAL RADOM 2021 (Uniwersytet Technologiczno-Humanistyczny, Radom, Poland), to name a few. 

Almansoori has undertaken several art residences, such as The Canopy Program (NYC CRIT CLUB, New York, USA, 2023); Volume 6, Samt Alternative Art School (Virtual/Dubai, UAE, 2022); and Belgrade Art Studio Online Art Residency (Belgarde, Serbia, 2022), among others. In 2019, the artist was granted the Young Historian Award (National Archives, Abu Dhabi). 

To learn more about Almansoori’s current exhibition at Firetti Contemporary, please visit its official web page.

You might also be interested in visiting 33 Songs, 99 Words by Sawsan Al Bahar and the In/visible: Objects in the Mirror group show.