Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Emirati artist Nujoom Alghanem paints 2,000 faces for her latest show in Sharjah

Faces are a person’s identity and in those various faces, Emirati artist Nujoom Alghanem has found her creativity. The artist has found her fascination in them as she has painted hundreds of them. These faces have been put together in her latest display –Malamih—Faces Phantoms, Expressions.

The exhibition that is taking place at Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah until the end of August, centers on the artist’s perception of human expression, creating visages that are thoughtful, intense, and, at times, eerie or comical. She finds it a natural progression from her interest in the individual and personal narrative, which she has also explored in her previous work, including her film installation ‘Passage’, showcased at the UAE Pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2019.

Over the last two years, Alghanem has diverted her attention to people’s faces with diverse materials and wearing varied expressions, continuing an interest that first began in 2016. According to her estimation, the number of works featured in this show reaches nearly 2,000.

Making use of two floors, the exhibition begins on the third floor of the center, wherein arrangements of canvases, ranging in size and shape, have been hung in Petersburg-style. This gives the visitors a sense of being watched by the assembly of faces painted on them.

On the second floor, the artist’s more experimental works have been featured as she uses new materials burlap, and jute. There is also a series of chopping boards with faces painted on them, recalling the way meat is hung in butcher shops and producing a more sinister and haunting atmosphere to the show.

Additionally, there are two dark rooms where faces have been created with fluorescent light and a series of those are digitally animated—commenting on the selfie age.

Towards the end of the gallery, ceramic, concrete, and resin-based works have been featured. Visitors are also asked to share their impressions by creating their works, drawing faces on paper, before they exit the show.

Cover Image: Maraya Art Centre | Instagram

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