My time living abroad has been spent reflecting on and remembering my own life's experiences.
Living in the Middle East for over 15 years has given me a chance to learn to live with different nationalities, ethnicities, ideologies and religions, and to learn that we are not different in our basic needs of joys, yearnings and comforts. It has given me a chance to reflect on my own culture, and to reflect how my background has influenced my life, my values, my choices.
I started writing down memories from childhood in 1995 when I lived in Saudi Arabia, and since coming to Dubai. I found that I could remember more of my childhood by the houses where I have lived in my lifetime. So, this installation is called "Houses of Memories".
The house shape is also my symbol for my spirit, for my soul, for the inner place where "I" dwell. I like to think that the size of the house shape in the center of my installation is a reflection of how my spirit has grown because of my experiences living abroad.
Finally, the house is more than mine alone. It is where each person "lives". All of the different skin tones, patterns of dress, manners of praying, or colors of passports do not alter the commonality of soul and spirit; this is what I have found to be true.
About the artist:
Nelda Gilliam paints, draws and does small sculptures and installations. She was born in Texas, USA, and studied fine art at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas and the Alfred C. Glassell School of Art in Houston, Texas. She was active in art organizations in Houston where she was a Board Member of the Houston Women's Caucus for Art, and was an active participant in Women In The Visual and Literary Arts. She has been in group and solo exhibitions in Houston, Saudi Aramco, and Dubai UAE and was in the Sharjah UAE Juried biennial in 1999. She exhibits regularly at XVA Gallery in Dubai UAE. She is currently Director of Gallery 76 at the Dubai International Art Center and serves as a Board Member.
My work is intuitive. I rarely plan an image. I like working in anticipation of the moment, constantly doing and undoing until I have revealed just enough information. In other words, I feel the obvious. My work expresses my life's experiences, my daily life.