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Biography of Meriem BOUDERBALA

Tunisia > Arts : Meriem BOUDERBALA

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Biography :

Meriem Bouderbala (b. in 1968) in Tunis. She studied painting and engraving at the school of Beaux-arts in Provence from 1980 to 1985 and completed a national diploma in the arts. Meriem moved to London in 1986 to study engraving at the Chelsea School of Art.
Since 1986 Meriem has exhibited her artwork frequently in both France and Tunisia; including exhibitions of her veils in Lyon (Galerie Olivier Houg, Lyon, 1998). In Tunisia Meriem has exhibited her work a number of times both in Sidi Bou Said and central Tunis. Group exhibitions have taken her as far as Washington where she participated in an exhibition of Women in the Arts at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (1994) and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lisbon. Meriem continues to exhibit her work widely and a number of pieces can now be seen as part of the permanent collection of the Arab World Institute in Paris.
Meriem’s work has received wide recognition and she has won a number of prizes and important commissions. In 1993 she won the prize for best artist at ‘Art Junction International’ in Cannes and in 1997 the ‘Espace Paul Ricard 1997’ prize. Meriem has completed a number of public commissions for the Tunisian Minister of culture, ELF Foundation (Paris), the Arab World Institute (Paris) and the French Institute of Cooperation (Tunis). Her work has also appeared as illustration in a number of books including the poems of Tita Reut.
Meriem has been important to the development of contemporary art and theory in both Tunisia and North Africa and has played a conscious role in supporting and diversifying its reach. In 2003 she became a representative and organizer of a group for contemporary art in the Medina of Tunis. In 2006 Meriem became a commissioner for the Tunisian Party and advocated the exploration of North African and Middle Eastern art. She also participated in the opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Algeria in 2007.
Meriem’s work is theoretically conditioned by her passion to explore and exploit the potential of ‘minority art’, or contemporary art that works outside of traditional schools of thought. For Meriem Tunisia is advantageously free from the restraints in contemporary art that have effected other southern Mediterranean areas. She feels that the Tunisian art scene is still exploring and weaving an artistic identity, which produces a fertile contemporary art dynamic. Today Meriem lives and works between Paris and Tunisia, and believes this multiple membership of the two communities to have a central influence on her work.
In their physicality, Meriem’s artworks explore a multiplicity of themes including femininity, chaos and culture. They each seek to build a bridge of understanding amongst themes of chaos. Her artworks represent a method for conceptualising difficult or impossible subjects. She uses many mediums including textiles, with a focus on natural products such as water, sand, powders and metal. Her palette is explorative, using rust and natural dyes, supported by the use of varied papers and canvases.


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Last update : 12/20/2008

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