Dubai: Capturing the emirate's vibrant art scene

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Artists of determination present artworks, Art Series at Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown
Artists of determination present artworks, Art Series at Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown

Dubai - On tote bags and plates, in parks and hotels. and beyond. You don’t have to be consciously looking out for art to admire, it bumps into you everywhere


Purva Grover

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Published: Thu 14 Oct 2021, 11:05 PM

Art is all around us, irrespective of whether you are consciously looking for it or not. It’s on the streets you walk on and the parks you plan a picnic at, it’s the design on your bag to the creation on the cookie jar; last week, I couldn’t help but stop, admire and absorb the art around me, here’s a recap of what caught my eyes.

When heroes create magic

This Sunday, artworks created by eight young artists of determination were presented as part of the Art Series at Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown. The hotel partnered with Heroes of Hope, a not-for-profit charity, to curate and host a four-week art programme sponsored by ArtistPals, to encourage people of determination to be pioneers of their futures. Contemporary British artist and humanitarian Sacha Jafri was the guest of honour at the event, “It’s really important to understand the skills and inspiration that these lovely kids provide to us, and it’s this beauty that is visible in their creations.” Not only did this initiative give the artists a sense of accomplishment, but the funds derived through the sale of the paintings were donated to the charity for enhancing further talents. During the programme, the group was welcomed at the hotel for guided tours to draw inspiration from the hotel’s collections of art and design. “We organised workshops with leading artists with distinct backgrounds and styles to show the diversity and share their artistic skills and techniques with the group,” said Astrid Lesuisse, the hotel’s resident Art Manager. The participants included self-taught Emirati artist Badr Abbas, British-born artist Belinda Freeman, Iranian visual artist Asareh Ebrahimpour, Franco-Algerian-Spanish embroidery artist Chloé Robin, and French artist Anne-Laure Roy.

World Migratory Bird Day 2021 exhibition at Dubai Creek Park
World Migratory Bird Day 2021 exhibition at Dubai Creek Park

Hummus is happiness

Who doesn’t love a tote bag, and well, who doesn’t feel that hummus is happiness! Daughter-mother Jessica Kahawaty and Rita Kahawaty, founders of Mama Rita, launched a limited-edition set of customised totes as an ode to Lebanese food, as part of a collaboration with Deliveroo for their ongoing Lebanese Marketing Campaign rolled out earlier this month. The campaign honours the country’s cuisine and also sheds light on important customs with a touch of nostalgia. “This foodie-fashion item will surely show off your obsession with traditional Lebanese food, which by the way has been rated as one of the healthiest and heartiest cuisines in the world, it is no wonder the Mediterranean diet is so popular,” said the duo.

I believe I can fly

Dubai Creek Park came further alive last Saturday with artworks as the Dubai Municipality’s Environment Department collaborated with Funun Arts to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day 2021. Fifteen artists and photographers came together to exhibit artworks dedicated to birds. This year’s global event themed ‘Sing, Fly, Soar, Like a Bird’, focussed on the phenomena of the birds’ voices and flight as a way to inspire and connect people of all ages in their shared desire to celebrate migratory birds and unite in a joint global effort to protect them and their habitats. The participating artists were Anum Sultana, Deepika Devan, Farah Khan, Imran Manzoor, Khan Ayaan Abdulla, Labiba Ferhat, Madiha Khan, Mankush Srivastava, Rania Elsalamony, Sabah Anees, Sadia Fahad, Saida Bano, Saima Hasan, Shiba Khan, Sumayyah Faridi, Svetlana Kreventsova and Varsha Parab. Along with the exhibition, the artists showcased their creativity by colouring a 15-metre-long painting of migratory birds. Shiba Khan, artist-co-founder, Funun Arts, exhibited one of her artworks titled Sunshine. Her artwork depicted a new beginning and hope. “Migratory birds are always a delight to watch and to have our generations watch them, we must keep them safe,” she said. Added blogger, photographer and co-founder Funun Arts, Farah Khan, whose photograph of a hawk was on display, “The hawk symbolises intelligence, independence, adaptability and more. It’s important to utilise days like these to bring attention to protecting the migratory birds from the different threats they witness.”

You eat with your eyes foremost

In the era of hashtags, it’s become more important than ever to raise the beauty and presentation quotient of food. At the fine-dining restaurant Punjab Grill, The Oberoi, Dubai, executive chef Sandeep Ail knows the secret towards creating every meal delectable for the tummy and #mealoftheday for socials. The artsy presentation scored high on the framework, composition, balance, shape, colours (swirls) and texture on the plate. After all, don’t they say in these times you eat with your eyes foremost? The traditional flavours and innovative recipes aptly complimented the ‘plate’ view.

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