Hessa Al Ajmani

Hessa Al Ajmani is an Emirati visual artist born in Abu Dhabi and based in Ajman. Her practice as an artist is heavily influenced by curiosity of the human psychology and the natural world, and the idea of observing things which are not so noticeable, but are often present human interactions and daily commutes. Her work also poses questions on the notion of homeland vs. one's conscious choice to be in it. This idea has tied into her hyperrealistic drawings, which are distinct in their size and highly rendered mark-making, often depicting subjects that can be both confrontational and yet nostalgically intimate, where she's looked at the human body as a landscape with landmarks that speak of the land's history. Her current work with ceramics translates her passion for exploration and observation by imprinting native plants and wildflowers onto functional ceramicware as a form of research to understand more about the native flora that is present in the UAE. A key element and driving force of her current research is her deep appreciation of pottery as an ancient craft and experimentation through trial-and-error.

In 2019, Al Ajmani founded Clay Corner Studio, the first public arts studio in Ajman dedicated to ceramics and painting, which she currently manages and teaches regular ceramics classes in. The studio caters to professional and amateur artists and offers facilities, private spaces, memberships and classes. Since then, the studio has become an integral community space for Ajman's residents.

Al Ajmani graduated from Zayed University in 2016 with a BFA in Visual Arts and Applied Psychology. She currently works in Sharjah Art Foundation’s Community and Outreach Programme, organizing workshops, excursions, photowalks, and events to engage Sharjah’s community with artist exhibitions, location, and contemporary themes. She also teaches regular ceramic classes at Clay Corner Studio.

Some of Al Ajmani’s notable exhibitions and other art-related public appearances include House of Failure at SIKKA Art Fair (2019), Made in Tashkeel at Tashkeel (2018), Emirates Fine Arts Society’s Annual Exhibition at Sharjah Art Museum (2018-2019), Vantage Point 6 at Sharjah Art Foundation (2018), Future Perfect Future exhibition at Al Serkal Avenue (2017), Markers & Makers exhibition in Manarat Al Saadiyat (2017), /4 (Out of Four) pilot round in Dubai Design District, twice runner-up for ADMAF’s Creativity Award (2015-2016), and first place winner of CDA’s Human Rights Short Film Competition (2014).

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