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 aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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