Emirati artist Camelia Mohebi pays homage to Sheikh Khalifa with digital art

The mix medium artwork represents how the late President's legacy is imprinted in the collective memory of the country, she says

Emirati artist Camelia Mohebi's digital art tribute to Sheikh Khalifa. Photo: Camelia Mohebi
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Dubai multi-disciplinary artist Camelia Mohebi has paid tribute to Sheikh Khalifa with an experimental piece that echoes her ongoing body of work based around frequencies.

The Emirati artist says she began work on the piece a day after Sheikh Khalifa's death on Friday, and shared it on her Instagram page.

"I wanted to pay homage to our dear President," she tells The National.

Mohebi, whose first solo exhibition in Dubai, Signals, was hosted by Sotheby's this week, said the artwork took her about six hours.

"I started with a charcoal sketch, which I then scanned and put through various softwares, adding different layers," she says.

Emirati artist Camelia Mohebi held her first solo exhibition, Signals, in Dubai this week. Photo: Camelia Mohebi

The patchwork of lines "is almost as if he's an energy field," she explains.

"It's to illustrate that his soul is moulded into our minds and hearts and imprinted on the collective memory of the country. The black-and-white blocks on the border signify the building blocks of the country he helped build and its history."

Mohebi also shared another artwork of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, who was elected President of the UAE on Saturday.

Starting with a sketch and then working on a scanned image, Mohebi says she wanted to represent Sheikh Mohamed as "more current and visually strong".

"If it you look closely, it's almost like a building material or a stone or a wall. He’s basically our future, that's cast in stone... a powerhouse that we are all going to lean on," she says.

Mohebi says her interest in subliminal messaging and frequencies began more than 10 years ago while she was taking care of her ailing father, Zainal Baqer Mohebi, the late UAE businessman who founded the Baqer Mohebi chain of supermarkets.

"My dad passed away in 2019, but I spent 10 years of my life looking after him before that. He had a stroke and couldn’t speak or move or eat. The only thing he could do was hear. That's what sparked my interest in subliminal messages and frequencies," she says. "My journey began trying to help him, observing his behavioural patterns and the importance of sound."

Now a certified art therapist and Theta Healer, Mohebi works with various mediums. Her Dubai exhibition, which was shown in London earlier this year, brings together eight years of her work featuring more than 50 pieces.

"The show is a culmination of my journey, of me hoping to inspire people and give people hope, through my study of frequencies" she says. "I don't think I'm different from anyone. We are all struggling one way or the other. And my great hope is that by expressing our traumas, art can help create something beautiful and healing."

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Updated: May 17, 2022, 3:23 PM