Images: Amenini Abida, Ouafa Benamor.
SEE DJERBA Project
My favorite time of the year is probably summer when I’m back in Tunisia swimming with my family every day. We made it a bit of a ritual: waking up, having breakfast, and quickly change to go for a swim. Sometimes, some of us even have our first coffee of the day in the pool. Other times, on busy mornings, we’d swim in the afternoon with more family and friends joining in. It’s usually a time of peace, nothing to worry about, nothing to think of, except for the collective act of getting into the water together.
This series was started in June 2021, reflecting on all those calm moments. I was very much inspired by David Hockney at the time, not just with his pool series and capturing the moments like photographs, but also his later uses of digital techniques to produce his works. I thought it would be interesting to merge both and create a body of work that reflects the feelings of nostalgia as well as celebrates Hockney’s subject matter and techniques.
I was keen on applying for SEE DJERBA because it has always been a goal of mine, as a Tunisian diaspora, to participate in the local art exhibitions and projects in my homeland. I think I find myself constantly, in spaces abroad, discussing and reflecting and painting and depicting specific notions and narratives related to where I come from without necessarily participating in local initiatives and debates, which is something that lacks within my practice. This is a great occasion for me to be more involved. Furthermore, the theme resonated with me, as I have previously worked on a body of work that directly involves the question of water, albeit in a more nostalgic/emotional (but still cultural) form.
Ameni Abida is a self-taught Tunisian artist and museum professional. Her work gravitates toward the themes of mental health, self-love, identity, and the world around her. She is specifically interested in the incorporation of physical painting techniques onto the digital and often intermixes both in her practice.
2020 London (uk), University College, MA Museum and Gallery Practice
2019 Doha (qa), Georgetown University, BS Foreign Service Culture and Politics
Lives in Doha (qa)
1977 Born in Tunisia