Upcoming exhibitions and competitions of the season
What's on display?
It’s the season of exhibitions, solo and beyond. Here’s a quick guide to what we saw in the last few days, and recommend you drop by at these destinations as well. At Foundry, the art frat scanned QR codes over canapes, at DIAC, the soothing live music provided ambience, and virtually, the excitement over votes on a platform set the mood.
Akshay Arora, a Dubai-based Indian artist, draws his painting succour from experimentation with textures, mediums and colours. His dwelling terrain is the non-figurative, contemporary and abstract, where colours, marks and textures speak to the viewer. In his first solo art exhibition, Harmonious Disquiet, Arora draws his inspiration from eastern philosophies, such as Vedanta and Buddhism. The paintings, though diverse in appearance, present certain common traits. A deviation from traditional standards of composition and design; an ambivalent and often brittle emotional tone that reflects contemporary life and values; the use of vivid but jarringly banal colour harmonies; and a simultaneously tense and playful presentation of objects in a primitivist manner that communicates a sense of inner disturbance and ambiguity. “In as much as creativity is a rebellion against the status quo, it is by definition an endeavour to unify conflicting ideas. However, the beauty of creativity needn’t be limited to the arrival at a successful solution. The process of unification, per se, can be beautiful too; if only for its intent and audacity,” shares Akshay.
At: Foundry, Downtown Dubai, until January 10, 2022
Circle of Life
This one is Dubai-based Indian artist Pari Sagar’s second solo art exhibition. Titled Circle of Life, the works on display speak of her of self-expression and creative freedom as an artist. “It’s called Circle of Life because when the world faced a global pandemic in 2020, everyone took a pause to reflect and look inwards. For many, this was the most challenging period of their lives. It gave an opportunity for Mother Nature to heal, recharge and replenish,” said Sagar. “This road towards self-discovery turned into works of art for me.” The exhibition was inaugurated earlier this month with the support of Yasser Al Gergawi, chairman, Dubai National Theatre & Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Ministry of Tolerance and Khalil Abdul Wahid, visual art manager, Dubai Cultural and Art Authority. Sagar shared how Circle of Life taught her to re-centre, recreate, realign herself. “I had been subconsciously creating circles in all my paintings a form of self-meditation and healing. The show represents hope, faith and love in their purest essence.”
At: Gallery 76, Dubai International Art Centre (DIAC), Dubai until December 24
50 years of the UAE
Over 100 artworks were received by artists from 15 countries for a competition hosted by ArtsCrafts to celebrate the UAE’s Year of the 50th. The online competition was opened up for voting and the winners were announced earlier last week based on voting and decisions by jury members. Mohan Ramesh Jadhav (India), Jairaj Kumar (India) and Saleena Khaliq (Qatar) won the first three prizes, respectively. “We kept the competition online to ensure that we’re able to support artists from all over the world, and help spread the word on their works on social media,” said Anil Kejriwal, founder of the forum. A special, India Popular Choice Award, went to Saraswati Sharma (India), an artist of determination, who painted the work using her legs.