UAE based artist, Liudmila Panenkova and the restitution of the individual emotional experience.

Liudmila’s major artistic concept is based on the restitution of the individual emotional experience, recorded in the life timeline and placed in the personal history.

Keeping the artist’s personal anthropological insight on the modern “art de vivre” and consciously staying aside from the political and economic sensations, religious and ideological topics, she concentrates on working out the “emotional alphabet” useful for all, above the national, cultural, educational, age and even gender factors.


Tell us a little about your self?

I was born and bred in Moscow, but travelled a lot mostly on my own. Each country from Sweden to Morocco and Indonesia I tried to explore contacting mostly the local citizens and getting inspired from their life stories. When I first came to the UAE and Dubai, i felt the home spirit which I have never found in any other single corner of the world.

When did you start Art and what inspires you to draw?

My dream to become an artist eventually appeared when I was a child, who loved to look through the illustrations more than watching cartoons and playing. When I was 3.5 years old my grandma showed me an album of Flemish greatest master Ieronimus Bosch and i was literally hypnotized with the magic power of his canvases. Though the metaphorical meanings  and religious symbols weren’t readable for me that time, I was obsessed with the idea of copying the human figures and creating the same epic compositions. Almost at the same time my mother opened the poetically illustrated book called “Women in Islam”, and I discovered a completely different world, which seemed to me a real fairy – tale. Being at the age of 12, I discovered Francisco Goya and Gustav Dore and soon has realized that their expressive manner influences me as much as a beginner artist. Around that time I started to sort out the colors that did not catch my eye and then reviewed various shapes of numerous objects, I studied composition and harmonic proportions of the things around me, I also focused on portraits and daily architectural sketching which tended to be the most useful for my artistic education. From my teens years until today I invest a lot of time studying the history of the fine arts, though today I am more excited to view the masterpieces by Edward Hopper and Rene Magritte.


What are the reoccurring themes in your work and is there a reason for this?

Well, as an artist I am quite generous with ideas and mostly get inspired by social and theological topics. The contemporary world barely allows one to stay away from the political and economical topics, social stratification and national discrimination, but I try to keep my mind pure and my position -being consciously neutral. My artistic concept applies to the individual emotional experience during the lifeline, the subjective definition what the “art de vivre” means. Human nature expects us to come to the “red line” and only then begin to reestimate the spiritual and materialistic values, and in my art I try to suggest to my audience to brainstorm and sometimes show that the despair and frustration we have as well as the euphoria and naive faith must happen and should not be preserved inside or been ashamed of.

Another idea crosses my mind quite regularly is the idea of working out the visual symbolic “language”, creating a bright and vivid associations to everyone, wherever he or she is from. Currently living and working in Dubai , I can call it the contemporary Babylon and the multinational contest I face daily helps me a lot to develop my artistic and anthropological approach.


Tell me about the art scene in UAE, and what’s it like for emerging Artists?

I was blessed to be featured at the emerging artist Award at World Art Dubai in 2016, so I got immediate connections in the UAE art scene. Basing on my experience of working in the French art market where the competition is higher and unites both the professionals and amateurs, I should admit that the UAE art curators and gallerists approach and selection is a lot more strict. Apart of the Islamic art traditions that are widely shown, the contemporary art scene here still requires an artist to have a clear and strong concept behind his/her art, abstract art is still flourishing. I can also add that the Middle Eastern art lovers and collectors opinion are based on the amount of hours invested by the artist into the artwork. Some art takes time, while some art is created quickly, both can equally convey a message.

What advice would you give to emerging artists trying to exhibit their work internationally? 

Don’t think about the fame or the commercial success, do the art for your dream audience and not for yourself. You never know where your potential customer comes from and just value when he/she looks at the world through your eyes. Don’t be afraid to take part in competitions and collective shows within different countries and do not think about the cultural clashes. Be open and peaceful and do not promote your “today thoughts” too much, try to think about your ideas and artworks in retrospective and prospective.

Connect us with a few of your favourite Arab Artists at the moment.

Naji al Ali, Ali Ferzat, Ahmad Al Mufti, Ahmad Alladan.

Find Liudmila Panenkova ‘s portfolio here.

Celebrating Emerging Middle Eastern Creatives