Emirati conceptual artist, Almaha Jaralla, observes living environments as highly personal portraits. The Abu Dhabi-based artist places the focus of her paintings and photographs upon the modern history of her local surroundings.
Jaralla is preoccupied with the local architectural vernacular and the generational shifts that she has observed in the constructed environment. The artist often works from her own documentary photography as well as archival materials that offer insight into the Gulf at various moments in time. Jaralla uses colour theory to negotiate the complex sociocultural dynamics and ancestral histories that have contributed to her lived experience. Questions of identities - individual and collective - are interwoven throughout her output.
“I am influenced by the strangeness that I observe in notions of community, specifically the one I grew up in. My work throws up questions surrounding architecture, gendered standards and expectations and the significance of reputation within the local context. My paintings and photographs form an attempt to charter and unpack my subjective identity against the backdrop of the collective one.
I employ methods commonly used in documentary photography to capture and better know that which surrounds me - neighbourhood homes and alleyways - as my own form of extrospection.
My research negotiates the local architectural vernacular. I understand constructed environments as highly personal portraits. I am preoccupied with the dualities of the public/private and the standards, functions and aesthetic qualities that contribute to the local homes that I encounter every day.”
2022, Shadia, Abu Dhabi Art
2022, Shadia, NYUAD Project Space, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2021, Connected, Collected by Engage 101, Sotheby’s Dubai
2021, East-East Vol.4: The Curio Shop, HB.Nezu, Tokyo, Japan
2020, Almost Home, Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2019, EMERGE III; Converging Lines, DD47, Venice, Italy