Aiminath Hilmy has been drawing in her present style for many years now. She was initially discovered by Maizan Hassan Maniku and Ahmed Abbas who were running the first art gallery in Male', Esjehi Gallery, from the late '80s to 2005. Although Aiminath Hilmy began showing her work in Male only beginning from around 2000, some of her works dated from many years back. Several of these early works were also documented by Abbas and Maniku.
Perhaps unexpected of an artist who has primarily lived and worked in the Maldives for most of her life, and who never actively studied other artists, her drawings and line strongly resonates with the work of artists from the Art Nouveau period, especially the drawings of Aubrey Bearsley. Correspondingly, the themes and content of Aiminath Hilmy's work also seem to suggest a subterranean layer of consciousness, perhaps not readily apparent for most of us.
It could be this hidden element that we all somehow recognize in her work at one point or another that makes her work appeal to most age groups across the barriers of culture.
In Mach 2006, Aiminath Hilmy's work was selected together with works of Hussain Ali Manik, Nina Manik and Fathmath Zuhura - to represent Maldivian Artists at the 12th Asian Biennale held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. And in 2005, she also took part in the Maldives Contemporary 2005 exhibition held to formally inaugurate the National Art Gallery, Maldives. Hence, it is a demonstration of her productivity and consistency of style that she has produced nearly 30 more works using the same technique of line, negative and positive space. And although it is very much a singular technique that Aiminath Hilmy employs to achieve the effect she desires, the content is diverse and varied and yet contains recurring elements such as th human figure, elements of nature and highly dramatized imaginary spaces. And like the work of all enduring artists, her works reveal elaborate details the more you invest looking at it.
Although somewhat reluctant to literally interpret her works, Aiminath Hilmy is articulate about the content of her works. In explaining her work she often refers to various fictional allegories that are also at once a product of imagination which is also a commentary on life.
From: 23 July 2006 To: 10 August 2006
At: National Art Gallery