Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Art in the City

I held off writing about this until everything was in picture perfect place. And now that I'm sitting here with my legs perfectly cosied up on the worktable and my sleeping patterns in tact, it's time to unveil what I have been designing, planning and cooped up in my studio for endless hours on this last month. May certainly did take its time to pass, but I'm not complaining, when you have a deadline you always beg for a few extra hours in the day.

There are two parts to this story (sounds intriguing, doesn't it :P). Ok, let me just get on with it then. As a graphic designer, I have always still loved to produce artworks. Get that canvas out and start splashing wildly away. I wish. I'm more of a detailed person, very micro in my works. While in university, I had taken a printmaking course, and I had started working on creating artworks on a theme around the old area of Dubai, Bastakiya, where my grandparents had lived. Back then, with no AC's (and living in a desert you can imagine how hot it can get), I was fascinated about how they used to live; in summer time when it would get hot, they would hoist up their mattresses and sleep on the rooftops. Their windtower houses, a funcionally built architecture that would capture the wind through the narrow slits in the box-like structure, and drive it within, cooling the interior and its inhabitants.

After university, I had always wanted to continue working on this theme, and I saw my chance when The Ara Gallery posted a call for an Emirati artist exhibition representing the UAE from their perspective. And here I am now, 2 weeks after the launch of the exhibition, breathing a sigh of relief and delight as my artworks have finally come to life on paper.

"Once upon a time" a reflection of Bastakiya's Windtower houses

a detailed look; the arabic type inteprets to 'once upon a time'

"Across the times" their means of living, on board Dhows and Abra's

"Endless Strides" their means of transport, across the harsh sandy dunes

"A moment" a blurred memory, captured to be preserved

Another Emirati artist exhibiting her artworks was Aljoud Lootah, the designer behind the successful fashion brand Niftee (www.niftee.ae). I really loved her works, depicting elements from the Emirati traditional gold jewellery blended with Arabic calligraphy to create a piece of art.

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