With a height just under five meters tall, Chimera is the artist’s largest sculpture to date, and also her first permanent public installation. This gigantic iridescent form is based on the shape of an oil drill. Because of its large size and reflective colour, it almost seems like a futuristic creature from outer space. Before the discovery of oil, for hundreds of years the economy of the Gulf coastline had been based on pearl diving. With pearl diving, pearl trading and the music of pearl divers, entire cultures were created around this precious object. The title Chimera refers to a mythical or fictional being composed of parts taken from various other animals. Through this sculpture, the artist attempts to merge the pre- and post-oil eras into one body. She creates aesthetic connections between pearls and oil, through their colour, materiality, symbolism, ecology and economy, as a way of re-imagining the past, present and future of the wider Gulf region.
Commissioned by and Collection of Expo 2020 Dubai (2020-21)