Terra Ephemera by Mariam Abbas
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Mestaria Gallery (Alserkal Avenue, Dubai) invites everyone to attend the free exclusive launch of Terra Ephemera: A Visual Cartography of Resilience, Emirati artist Mariam Abbas’ solo show. It will take place on the 28th of September from 6 PM to 9 PM and allow one to meet the artist in person.

Through the Terra Ephemera exhibition, Abbas aims to pay tribute to the local flora of the UAE and show her audience that there is much more to the landscape than the skyline. At the same time, the artist wants the viewers to have a look at them together. On view are seven corresponding pairs of Abbas’ artworks. Each pair comprises a pencil sketch of a plant with its botanical name and an acrylic painting that depicts the same plant with its common name amid the UAE’s skyrise.

Mariam Abbas, Convolvulus Cephalopodus (left), Lycium Shawii (right).

“Terra” translating from Latin as “earth/land” symbolises the ground upon which all natural elements and architecture coexist. “Ephemera” means something temporary, so here, it may serve as a reference to both the changing urban landscapes and the transient nature of desert flora. Thus, Terra Ephemera highlights the fleeting yet enduring spirit of the Emirates’ land and its elements.

About the artist

Mariam Abbas is a freelance visual artist, designer, and illustrator residing in Dubai (her hometown), whose art practice encompasses illustrating, painting, and sculpting. In 2006, she graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication.

Abbas is well-known for her intricate tiny drawings depicting various places and things related to Dubai (mosques, old urban spaces, etc.). Influenced by the art of Lorraine Loots, a South African miniature painter, she works in pointillism and uses such mediums as pencils, fine brushes, and acrylics, as well as utilises pen and ink techniques. However, the artist also creates experimental illustrations characterised by clean lines and geometric shapes.

Mariam Abbas, Al Maghfirah Mosque.

Apart from being inspired by the rich cultural background that surrounds her, Abbas also draws her inspiration from architecture and botany. In the artist’s opinion, the first tells about the past, while the latter conveys cultural and historical significance.

Abbas has displayed her artworks at the Sikka Art Fair (Dubai), Lessedra Art Gallery (Sofia, Bulgaria), New Signature (Dubai), World Art Dubai 2016, and Expo Milano 2015. The artist’s illustrations have been featured in different publications and books such as, for instance, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, The National, Mawahib – The Talent Directory, Arabesque, a famous book by Die Gestalten Verlag, and others. Besides, she has become the first Emirati artist to be featured on Instagram’s official account.

Terra Ephemera: A Visual Cartography of Resilience will last until October 19, 2023. To learn more about the exhibition and book your invite to its launch, please visit the event’s official web page.

You might also be interested in visiting Inhale/Exhale by Sonu Sultania at FN Designs.