MONIRA AL QADIRI
PERMANENT INSTALLATION SINCE 2022
What is now the Arabian Peninsula was once completely submerged under water, which is why today so many ancient marine fossils are found in the soil and mountains of its inland areas. Some of the species of these finds are from dinoflagellates – single-cell marine algae that have existed for millions of years – who reproduce themselves by creating oxygen through photosynthesis. Nearly half of the world’s oxygen is made by these tiny sea creatures, though due to their microscopic size, they manage to allude our perception.
For ZEPHYR, the Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri took these creatures and remade them into five larger-than-life sculptures in acrylic glass, each of which is lit from beneath in order to recreate the organisms’ bioluminescence. Displayed in public space in close proximity to the waters of the Persian Gulf, ZEPHYR is a colourful reminder of the history of the region’s ecosystem, and with it, the need to safeguard its longevity in the face of rapid modernization.
© Images Qatar Museums and Monira Al Qadiri