Each of these butterflies began from observations of Emirati women going about their everyday tasks.
Although the are fully covered in black abaya with a niqab or hijab, sometimes as a casual observer I could catch a glimpse of beauty escaping the cover: a hem of delicate fabric, a shine of an elaborate shoe or extraordinary shades of colour on their eyelids.
The fact that these signs of hidden beauty were unintentionally
revealed was more stimulating than any attractiveness that was free to see from a simple glance. It made me wonder about the women beneath the black material; what are their dreams, ambitions and colours that are hidden from me?
This sketchbook was provided by the Cultural Office of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum at 2014’s Art Dubai event.