Beyond Emerging Artists (Abu Dhabi Art): Maitha Abdalla: Maitha Abdalla

17 - 21 November 2021


“My commission for the Beyond Emerging Artists programme at Abu Dhabi Art last year, as an internationally facing platform, was a powerful opportunity in itself. The chance to share this series during the Venice biennial is an honour. While much of my art chronicles personal narratives there are topics that humans might connect to universally embedded within my practice. I’m excited to see how my art connects to those that encounter it in Venice and takes on new meaning in this dynamic new context.” 

Too Close To The Sun

Maitha Abdalla, 2021


Maitha Abdalla has produced an immersive body of work, across multiple disciplines - video performance, sculpture, works on canvas and photography - in celebration of the strength and power of women explored through the intertwining story of wild human nature, the archetype of the feminine psyche, and the untameable character of wild animals.


Too Close To The Sun negotiates what the artist perceives as the ‘wild nature’ of women that social forces have often attempted to tame. Abdalla mines the wisdom of American Psychoanalyst, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who asserts: "Within every woman, there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species.” Abdalla’s art often draws from the folklore that was passed onto her during her youth. Here she observes the push and pull between the ‘wildness’ in human nature as pronounced in the mythologies of her region. The title of the body of work draws from the notion of the women that’ saw the light’. Visitors are invited into the artist’s immersive space, a home where one might encounter Abdalla's video performance by gazing out from the window into the wilderness while sculptural works depict female figures that have transcended into wild animals.