It is often said that people, and by extension their work, are a product of their environment. Zeana Atarbashi, a UAE-based artist has a rich cultural background that has exposed her to a diversity of people and ideas that has shaped her and her art.
Zeana was born and raised in Mosul, Iraq, where she studied civil engineering at the University of Mosul. She then moved in 1989 to Thessaloniki Greece where she studied the Greek language at Aristotle University, fell in love with the culture and started working as an engineer. The next chapter in her life took her in 1999 to Toronto Canada, where she worked with global architecture firm IBI Group before moving to Dubai in 2007 to help support the firm’s Middle East expansion.
Amidst all this movement and change, her anchor and passion was always art. From a young age, she was fascinated by art as the universal language and a tool to express her individuality. Often times, the first thing Zeana would do in a new city would be to discover the local art scene and visit local art galleries. She also took countless art classes over the years to hone her skills and plant the seeds for a future as an artist. However, her artistic career truly blossomed when she met and became a student of Dr. Suheil Baddor, a leading artist in the Middle East and inspirational mentor. Under his apprenticeship over the last two years, Zeana has developed a truly remarkable style, amalgamating richness of color, form and culture that is timeless yet anchored in history.