Emirati artist who dives under water to paint

Shaily Kalra

Maisoon al SalehDubai: Have you ever thought of someone going deep down diving under water to paint? Yes its possible! This unique talent of going under water to paint has been made possible by Emirati visual artist Maisoon Al Saleh. She is the first Emirati woman to do this. She is a surrealist artist, who depicts both modern and traditional Emirati culture with unpemeditated ease and it mainly revolves around bones and skulls .

On being asked about this extraordinary talent, her response was – “when you do something with passion, it becomes your greatest motivation.” Additionally she said that her inspiration was her grandfather’s stories that pushed her to go underwater to paint.

Maisoon’s grandfather was one of the survivors of MV Dara ( Dubai-based passanger ship) explosion on April 8, 1961. The ill-fated ship was carrying 819 passengers. It sank after there was a powerful explosion causing the death of 238 passengers. The stories about the incident that her grandfather told her left such an impact on her that it made her learn to dive. She even went to the same location where the tragedy had struck.

Maisoon’s life took a turn in 2013, when she pesented her third solo show, The Dara Chronicles, at the Ara Gallery in downtown Dubai. The exhibit included digital paintings and mixed-media prints using X-rays and vintage suitcases as medium. Each of her painting has a distinct and a definite role that describes the lifestyle, culture tradition and also the history of Emiraties. From then onwards there has been no looking back. She is not only creating her own defined art but also taking initiative to teach the new generation about this new and upcoming art form.

Masoon’s belief is that “Emirati women should believe in themselves and should set up goals, and when they will try hard to reach them they will be successful.” She also appreciates the fact that leaders and the people of UAE are very supportive for the new ideas that the new generation comes up with especially the women.

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