Three UAE-based initiatives that prove sustainability is buzzword in art

The art season is only beginning in the UAE, and what we are witnessing is a commitment towards a green, feasible world



The Guiding Hand by Bassam Kyrillos
The Guiding Hand by Bassam Kyrillos
by

Purva Grover

Published: Thu 17 Nov 2022, 7:54 PM

Three of the most looked-forward-to art events concluded in Dubai last weekend. A common factor that stood out and tied them together was the focus on sustainability in designs, arts and beyond. We take a look at a few highlights from DIFC Art Nights, Dubai Design Week 2022 and Downtown Design 2022.

Art for a better world

The 14th edition of DIFC’s Art Nights under the theme of Sustainability: Art for a Better World featured works by local and international artists. The event, which concluded last Friday (November 10-11), also saw industry leaders and art enthusiasts play a part in the discussion about sustainability in the art world, which will continue to be the focus through to next year when the UAE hosts COP28. A panel discussion on the theme, Art as an Investment, led by art industry experts, emphasised the steady ROI seen in art investments, discussed investment trends for the UAE to invest in ultra-contemporary art, reflecting the youthful demographic of the Emirates, etc. Must-see artworks included a diversity of artistic expressions, from mixed media art, created using recycled jeans and bottle caps by artist Deniz Sagdic to the world of the Metaverse where the individual can experience being transformed into artistic pieces. Also, Christie’s hosted an exhibition by Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, whilst Opera Gallery showcased museum-scale art pieces and offered visitors a tour of the gallery under the theme ‘exceptional works from modern masters and contemporary art’.

Kaseeriya by South African designer Ebrahim Assur – an elegant bench using materials including Palmade biodegradable pallets, recycled cork and camel leather
Kaseeriya by South African designer Ebrahim Assur – an elegant bench using materials including Palmade biodegradable pallets, recycled cork and camel leather

Sustainable solutions, commercially viable pieces

One of the many highlights of the recently concluded Dubai Design Week 2022 (November 9-13) was the works of six designers selected for the 9th edition of Tashkeel’s Tanween design programme, under the theme of sustainability. Each piece was conceived, designed and produced in the UAE to nurture the ongoing evolution of UAE design, with the designers tasked with finding sustainable solutions to create commercially available, limited edition design pieces inspired by and manufactured in the UAE.

The outcomes of the 2022 Tanween design programme and the latest additions to The Tanween Collection included Tibrah by Emirati architect Reema Al Mheiri — a floor lamp design inspired by Emirati poetry about a fleet of dhows sailing back to port — composed of three harmonious lighting elements made of treated fish scales from Ajman Fish Market. SKin by Egyptian designer, Shaza Khalil — a ceiling-mounted light inspired by the plumeria (frangipani) tree, featuring a natural material grown by bacteria during the fermentation process of Kombucha, a probiotic drink made of fermented tea and honey. Anamil (fingertips) by Saudi Arabian designer Huda Al-Aithan — a suspended pendant light that celebrates the regional craft of ‘safeefah’ (palm frond weaving). An unorthodox design produced in collaboration with Emirati craftswomen.

RAK Ceramics’ B-Materia, an innovative design concept that fits in both traditional and modern settings
RAK Ceramics’ B-Materia, an innovative design concept that fits in both traditional and modern settings

Reduce, reuse, recycle

RAK Ceramics unveiled its newest collections at the recently concluded Downtown Design 2022 (November 9-12). From the Ceramic Tile Collection, RAK Ceramics displayed Seawood, inspired by beach driftwood and the way salt, wind, sun, and water all contribute to the wood’s characteristic finish. Another collection to look out for was the Milano Stone, a modern reinterpretation of the natural Ceppo di Gre’ stone featuring an extra matte finish. The exhibition also displayed Orbit 3Rs, sustainable tiles that reduce, reuse, and recycle up to 95 per cent of materials in the manufacturing process. Leonardo De Muro, vice-president, RAK Ceramics, said, “We’re excited to unveil our newest collections at Downtown Design 2022.”

purva@khaleejtimes.com


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