Doves of Paradise 2021
(Un exhibited works - Sold to a private art collector)
In the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible, the characters Utnapishtim and Nooh (Noah) release a dove with the hope to find new land, a place to call home. The artist’s life underwent similar circumstances from 2018 to 2022 when she could no longer create from the identity of Mariam Haji. In a fashion similar to Gilgamesh and Nooh (Noah), the artist released doves at funerals as an act of saying goodbye and letting go. She released the old to welcome in the new. Building on the autobiographical approach that ushered in her first name change from Maryam Aljanahi to Mariam Haji in her 2010 Muse Series, she has given herself a new artist name: Meri Helmi Särkkä, which is Finnish for Sea Pearl from the Salt Water Island. In other words, she is the Sea Pearl from Bahrain. Meri Helmi also maintains the initials M and H, which represent Mariam Haji and also Mariam and her husband Hannes. This re-naming signifies her profound transformation from daughter to single to wife and mother.