Mona Taha was born in Uganda in 1988 to a Rwandese mother and Egyptian father, and is a mother of two boys. She graduated from Makerere University with a degree in Development Economics and has worked in logistics and family business until she decided to become a full-time artist in 2020.
While her drawings and paintings are figurative, she does not limit herself in the execution of her work. Using a wide range of media – from charcoal, inks, gouache, collage, to graphite and others – her work conveys a sensual yet raw and disarmingly truthful aura. As creating is a therapeutic process and outlet for Mona, she conveys autobiographical themes and subject matter closely related to her own life.
Her personal introspection and challenges as a woman, as a mother and daughter, and as a woman coming from a Muslim background plays a crucial role in her work. Themes around gender, femininity, self-discovery, self-awareness and social identity stand out. Through, at times, painful self-inquiry and brute honesty, her work becomes a reflection of her personal journey of learning to accept and embrace her true self.
As much as her work is deeply connected to her personal growth and discovery, it is also an encouragement for others, especially to women, to discover and accept themselves, to find clarity and the confidence to put themselves first – despite society’s expectations and prescribed roles. Mona’s quest for self-discovery and self-empowerment is a rebellion and a call to action for those who are restless, looking for defiance, resilience, and the inner calmness that comes with knowing and appreciating oneself. Through the work, she hopes to elevate the perception the woman has of herself, to reclaim her power, body and identity, and to see herself as a limitless being.
She has shown her work in ‘Surfaces’ (Afriart Gallery, 2019), ‘Where the Wild Things are’ (Afriart Gallery, 2022), ‘Echo’ (Jenkins Johnson Projects NYC, 2022), Shapes of Water (Afriart Gallery, 2023), and Eastern Voices: Contemporary Art from East Africa (Addis Fine Art, London, 2023). Besides, she has participated in Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Paris, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair New York and London, Art X Lagos, Abu Dhabi Art, and FNB Joburg.