Title: Money Doesn't Float
Medium: Ink on Paper
Dimension: 21.0 x 29.7cm
© Maisoon Al Saleh
The story behind the artwork:
The Dara Chronicles
Maisoon Al Saleh presents a second solo exhibition of artworks—from digital paintings to mixed-media prints— that explore retold stories and documented accounts about the M.V. Dara passenger liner explosion on April 8th, 1961.
Al Saleh grew up hearing stories that her grandfather would tell about that night on the vessel. Newspaper articles and other reports at the time only account of an explosion in middle of the ship and that the cause was possible sabotage. Beginning with an exploratory dive at the Dara gravesite, Al Saleh begins to discover and research the event experienced and retold from different personal perspectives. The works are inspired letters about the incident written by the boat company and police investigators, as well as news articles, and stories told by survivors or family members of those who perished in the shipwreck.
The artist further juxtaposes the different viewpoints expressed regarding the Dara explosion, beginning with three suitcases as a counterpoint of the different nationalities on board—in particular British, Indian and GCC passengers. Portraits of passengers, stories of the explosion and the events that followed illuminate personal narratives versus that which is documented in the media. Through this exhibition Al Saleh attempts to bring viewers into a discussion about the importance of this historical event of Emirati history on the sea.