3D artist pays tribute to the mangrove with Dhahran al-Mujamma’ offering
Afaf A. Salman, who took 17 hours to complete Lake of Mangrove, says, “It shows how beautiful mangroves are.”
A 3D painting highlighting Aramco’s work to protect mangroves has been created outside the al-Mujamma’ center in Dhahran.
Artist Afaf A. Salman, a graphic designer in the Office Services Department, started working on the piece — which is called “Lake of Mangrove” — on Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day, Feb. 22, with it taking 17 hours to complete.
The artwork by the “Princess of Color,” Salman’s artistic name, gives the illusion of a 3D mangrove from certain angles with people able to easily capture the optical illusion on their smartphones.
Asked what the inspiration was for this project, Salman said, “The reason I decided to paint a mangrove was because of Aramco’s commitment to protecting and supporting biodiversity.
“I noticed that the company’s president had often visited mangroves — which really highlights the importance of them to Aramco,” he said. “This made me decide to create a 3D painting to show people just how beautiful mangroves are.”
‘We need to nurture talent’
The “Lake of Mangrove” replaced a previous piece of art outside the al-Mujamma’ that was also created by Salman — a 3D image of a mountain that she completed five years ago.
It was her idea to create these mind-bending illusions, with Salman’s manager encouraging her to showcase her incredible talent.
Khaleel Al Syed, manager for Office Technology and Support Services in the Office Services Department, said it was down to the leaders in the company to both identify and nurture the talents of their employees.
Syed said, “I see us in the leadership team as a platform for people like Afaf to leverage off, and this is an opportunity for us to showcase the hidden talents of the people that we have within the team that sometimes go unnoticed.
“Our responsibility as the leadership team is to identify these talents, nurture these talents, and give it room to grow,” he added. “We all need to make it an active part of our work life to identify talent and look for ways in which we can bring out the best in our employees, because that will make them happy, and a happier employee is more productive and spreads more positivity at work.”
Salman’s next ambition
Salman, whose work is inspired by several Saudi artists, including Abdulhalim Radwi, and master painters such as Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso, turned professional in 2003, with her work receiving acclaim across the region.
She has donated two pictures to the international airport in Lebanon, which are still on display to this day — and her next ambition is to see her work appreciated even further afield.
The next dream for me would be to paint something abroad that represents Aramco.
— Afaf A. Salman
“I want to do something unique, something that showcases the talent here at Aramco. I have this idea of taking some of my artwork and making it into a 3D piece — that would be really special,” she said.
‘I want my art to spark people’s imagination’
During a photoshoot with Salman outside the al-Mujamma’ center, scores of people stopped and admired her paintings while asking the artist for the meaning behind her work.
Salman hopes that her work will inspire others to think deeply about their lives, she said, “When people look at my artwork, I want them to feel creative and for it to spark their imagination.
“I want them to ask themselves about their lives, what their dreams are, and how they can achieve their dreams no matter the challenges that they may face.”
Caption for top photo: Afaf Salman works on “Lake of Mangrove,” which replaced a previous piece of art outside the al-Mujamma’ that was also created by Salman — a 3D image of a mountain that she completed five years ago. (Photo: Hatim Oweida/MPD)