Gallery Girl meets Meron Engida

Artist Meron Engida paints beguiling images of endearing figures huddled together. Influenced by her Ethiopian roots, her paintings draw the viewer into her world, begging to know more about the stories behind them. Gallery Girl spoke to Meron about her inspirations and plans for the future.

Image from Solidarity Series, Meron Engida

What are your main inspirations? 

I’m inspired by strength, value of human diversity, compassion, mutual support, reggae music, the beauty of cultural identity, women’s connection, memory, my imagination and nature.


What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I’m working on a series about solidarity and a group of strong women living in a vibrant world.

Image from Solidarity Series, Meron Engida

Who are the figures in your artworks?

 The figures in my paintings are not real people they are from my imagination.


Are there any artists who influence your work?

Growing up I was surrounded by  the ancient art of Ethiopian Orthodox Church which influences my work.

Image from Solidarity Series, Meron Engida

Is your art received differently in Ethiopia than it is in the US?

Through out my art life my style changed following my heart. I paint from traditional to contemporary art in Ethiopia. When I came to the US I felt more appreciated and people understood my art better.


What are your plans for the future?

I have a lot of exiting ides to paint for the future, I’m going to continue painting following my heart.

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer and curator. She is the founder of Gallery Girl - a London-based curatorial platform and website dedicated to modern and contemporary art from across the globe. Her work is primarily focused on supporting emerging female artists from the Middle East and the Caucasus. She has written for Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, Suitcase and Vice Arabia among other publications. Her exhibitions in London and Armenia have been featured in Vogue Arabia, The Art Newspaper, The Art Gorgeous and numerous other news outlets. Gallery Girl has also spoken in the UK, UAE and Belgium about the contemporary art scene in the MENA region, and is planning further events in London and Amman.

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