Painter Meron Engida creates vibrant tableaus that act as a vehicle for exploring the artist’s personal experiences and Ethiopian cultural identity. Through trust in the mark-making process, Engida has developed a rich visual vocabulary which draws influence from the colors and narratives of ancient Ethiopian art. At the intersections of abstraction and figuration, Engida’s works center a cast of expressive figures who together tell stories of vulnerability, empowerment, and resilience. Fusing memory and imagination, Engida layers tones, symbols, and motifs to construct emotive scenes intended to prompt dialogue about diversity and women’s experiences.
Engida’s latest body of work illustrates the impacts of war and climate change upon everyday lives, honoring the experiences of women and children living amidst the ongoing Ethiopian War. With palettes of acrylic and oil pigment, the artist here employs a system of dots, used to symbolize water, earth and teff. In "Teff teffa", the artist gestures towards the growing inaccessibility of teff—the staple grain used to make injera—due to war, drought, and global demand, demonstrating these forces’ impact on the foundations of Ethiopian cultural identity.
She has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2020.