56-m mural on marine life pops up on Dubai beach


56-m mural on marine life pops up on Dubai beach

Dubai - The park recently witnessed the soft launch of the Blue Flag accreditation.

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Tue 22 Jan 2019, 10:06 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 12:07 AM

About four kilometres from the popular La Mer beachfront, a 56-metre mural has suddenly sprung up as the latest art installation at the Jumeirah 2 workout park.

The park recently witnessed the soft launch of the Blue Flag accreditation, an international environmental certification for Dubai's public beaches.

A group of seven artists volunteered to partner with the Dubai Municipality (DM) to complete the 56-metre-long mural in just five days, working on the artwork for almost 12 hours a day.

The artists, six Indians and one Pakistani, are part of an artist association called 'Art4You'. Their mural tells the story of deep sea marine life and ecosystem, weaved into a life on the beach, and interlinked with the Emirati culture.

Founder of Art4You Jesno Jackson said: "The mural is not copied from anywhere. It is done by all of us as a team, using our expertise. It is done in a form of a story, created by the artists on the theme of marine and beach environment. The artwork - painted in pop art, colourful and contemporary style - will be a permanent installation at the beach."

Another artist, Rajeev Nalukettil, said the artwork - through the tale it tells and all its fantasy elements - stands for the preservation of both the marine environment and the Emirati heritage.

"We started our mural by showing the beautiful marine environment and how people need to be aware of it so that they can take the steps to preserve it. We then brought in some fantasy element into it by showing the transition area between land and sea where we have shown things from the point of view of the marine creatures, and how the sea creatures enjoy their life.

The sea world then shifts to the land where we first show a silhouette of the Dubai skyline moving to a beach where fun activities are taking place. To bring in the UAE heritage part, we show an Emirati family enjoying at the beach with their kid before concluding with an Emirati fisherman with a UAE flag on his abra."

The idea behind a story was to show continuity, unity and harmony, another artist told Khaleej Times.

Asked what made them do the artwork free of cost, Jackson said: "All the seven artists in this team have a passion for art as well as a sense of gratitude to the UAE for giving us a safe and beautiful environment to live in. This was something that motivated us to serve the government and the public."

Jackson said the DM is planning to partner with schools to bring students to the beach so they can look at the mural and then write stories or poems about the environment.

Most of the artists did at least six metres of the mural and a couple of them did more to completely cover the 56m wall.

"It was a complete teamwork, with each one working on a particular area. For example, one person took care of the grass area, another did the sky, some others focused on beach life and the rest on the marine life. We have not copied any artwork. This is done completely based on our own imagination and how we as humans can conserve our environment," said artist Nazish Qureshi.

Apart from Jackson, Qureshi and Rajeev, other artists who were part of the team included Megha Manjarekar, Sristi Raj, Tina Khetarpal and Boze Krishna.


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