Monira Al Qadiri


"Prehistoria" shows ten individual 2D cross-sections of a drill head, artfully painted to resemble mother-of-pearl. The aluminum sheets with a thickness of five millimeters were placed on the wall, whereby special challenges had to be overcome in the development of the suspension system.


Planning, production, painting, installation

Project manager

Pascal Bargon


Expo 2020 Dubai



Commissioned by Facebook Open Arts

Sculptural forms from the underwater world

With her wall installation "Prehistoria", Al Qadiri shows ten individual 2D cross-sections of a drill head, each almost one meter in diameter, which she stages with their special, mother-of-pearl-like paint finish and placement on the wall. They are made of five-millimeter-thick aluminium sheets.

Conceptually, with this work the artist has explored the historical and aesthetic connections between oil and pearls - two disparate industries in the Gulf that share a common history. These floating sculptural forms, inspired by the underwater world, allude to the rich cultural traditions of pearl fishing and draw comparisons between the iridescent qualities of pearls and crude oil.

Commissioned by Facebook Open Arts

A history of industries in the Gulf region

By reshaping technical drawings of oil drillers to resemble sea creatures, the artist reminds us of the precarious ecology and history of the industries that have contributed to today's economy in the Gulf region. She imagines that the oil industry and its inner workings will appear in the future as a cryptic old reality, an illusion of dreams past, where shining hopes and mirroring fantasies cast their shadows over entire landscapes and peoples.

The development of the hanging system and mounting were particularly challenging. The plasterboard wall was a challenge for the statics of the individual pieces weighing almost twenty kilograms. But in the end this was no problem either.


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Technical challenges and solutions

Special paint samples were required to match the artist's exact color tone. This precise color selection was crucial in order to authentically implement the artistic concept.

The exact positioning of the individual sculptures on the wall was essential in order to create the desired overall appearance of the artwork. Special templates were used for this purpose, which enabled precise and uniform positioning.

The delicate sculptures with their sensitive painted surface required special packaging to ensure damage-free transportation to Dubai. As sea freight would have taken too long, transportation was carried out by air freight to ensure timely arrival.

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