Evident Presence

WHEN: November 2023

WHERE: Abu Dhabi Art

Commissioned by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Spatial designer: Alaa Abdulnabi

Graphic Designer: Habiba Darwish

Dirwaza selected artist Maitha Al Omaira to create a commissioned work, How is nature constant when the sun never rests, which is a two part installation commissioned by The National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Al Omaira responds to themes dedicated to shedding light on the journey of individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Taking from this reality, the work further aims to unpack relevant themes that highlight the complexities of the body in its intricacies and points of connection, mirroring forms found in the nervous system–drawing out a map that uncovers and bridges. The work connects the cycle of change in nature with that of the human body.

Through casting different parts of the ground, the artist creates building blocks that store memory of a surrounding environment. The alginate casts uniquely capture different stages and parts of the artist’s neighboring nature, of local flora and fauna. The artist uses natural materials such as alginate to cast the ground and proceeds to recast the negative space with plaster.

The physical scans of the ground pick up the stories and the traces left behind, on this shared body. Al Omaira freezes these motions within the casts as a means to confront these realities through renegotiating perspectives.

Additionally, through the video, the artist works by emotionally experimenting with nature and questioning its norms to introduce an atypical view of the sky by looking at it downwards. The installation is built to connect the casts and film as a reflection of nature’s consistency of change. These building blocks mimic the natural state of growth in the bonds of the bodies we inhabit and the spaces we share.

The National MS Society invited Darwaza Lab to curate artwork commissioned by the National MS Society. As a partner of the Art Abu Dhabi community, the artwork was exhibited by the National MS Society and Darwaza Lab at Art Abu Dhabi in November 2023. After Art Abu Dhabi, the artwork was also exhibited at the Art Abu Dhabi exhibition at COP28.