Two Weeks of Drawing: Eyes of Sana’a

National Yemen

Maria Gimeno talking to the editor

By Fakhri al-Arashi

In her first ever visit to Sana’a, Maria Gimeno held an exhibition of watercolors paintings at the Spanish ambassador residence last week. The beauty of the old city and the dress of Yemeni women captured Gimeno during her visit.

During her time in Yemen, she created over 45 paintings. The exhibition displayed many of these paintings and was a reflection of the artist’s multidisciplinary work of watercolors and was principally inspired by the stained glass windows of the city. The paintings play with different possibilities of geometry and titled the collection as “Eyes of Sana’a.” Each piece explores the life of the old city through the eyes of imaginary Yemeni women, under their veils. Gimeno said that Yemeni women see thing from wide angle, but we can only see her from narrow angle, which does not exceed the eyes.

“I came to Yemen just to visit the country after the Spanish Ambassador invited me, but I found it a great opportunity to express my feelings of the community through two hard weeks painting,” she continued, “I used to work four hours a day, it was very hard and challenging work and I was very careful with my opinion to respect every one’s culture while trying to be very honest to myself.”

Another challenge for Gimeno was that security issues restricted her and she could not feel free to walk around as artists do. “This is was the bad part of the visit, but the good part that I have met with so many lovely nice Yemeni people who were so kind, “ recalled Gimeno.

Maria Gimeno is based in Madrid, Spain where she developed her broad, multi-faceted work. She studied fine arts at the Complutense University of Madrid. She is also designer and photographer. Gimeno has most recently hed a solo show at Contemporary Art Gallery in Geneva, Switzerland where she is currently working.