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American artist Jim Denevan has created one of his most ambitious works to date as part of Manar Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi's public art project. The vast but temporary landscape is made up of 448 hand-crafted pyramids and mounds arranged in 19 concentric circles. Together they create an attractive mandala design that invites the audience to experience the effects of the design.

The self-similarity begins by drawing a circle in the sand with a stick and is created with the help of local volunteers using Denevan art. Located on Fahid Island, visitors enter the facility via a railway bridge spanning the Arabian Sea. There, they are invited to the mandala, where they can admire the harmony of the work and also monitor everything from two observation mounds.

At night, Self-similarity takes on another dimension thanks to more than a thousand solar lamps that slowly light up at night. These lights cast shadows on each pyramid and give the light a spectral, warm feel. This painting is one of 35 unique art spaces by local and international artists that will be on display in Abu Dhabi until January 30, 2024. In fact, Denevan's installation will change over time and with the elements of the earth pyramid take the shape it wishes.

The beautiful choice of creating an ephemeral object that evolves over time is exciting for Denevan. He said: “As I draw and shape these forms, an invitation is made, it emerges. An ‘entering into’ takes place. Scale, presence, human, and otherwise. External is internal and internal is external. That which expires and that which is eternal, a simultaneity, within and without.”

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