We're allowed to have multiple passions, interests, paths, and pursuits in this lifetime. It is never too late to start again with a new beginning or to reinvent yourself completely. If you’ve always felt that art is something you wished to pursue, it’s never too late, for the UAE’s hearts and doors are open to the non-artists including doctors, chefs, actors and beyond.
After all, art is truly universal when it belongs to everyone. We speak to once 'non-artists' to see what drives them to pursue the arts and how? Plus, a few options for you to explore, learn and discover a hidden talent.
“Chefs are artists too; the plate is their canvas and ingredients their palate. They say that you eat with your eyes first, and in this case the expression is true! NFT’s are changing the way we experience food forever. Dining experiences are evolving, chefs should want to challenge themselves by creating something new,” said Dubai-based private fine dining Greek chef and owner of EFZIn (his food lab where he hosts dinners)
Alexandros, whose first collection of NFTs includes digital artwork of his Glow in the Dark dishes, and there is even an NFT of him. When you acquire one of his NFT dishes, you, the bidder, could enjoy a fine dining experience by him. Best known for her viral geometric henna designs, Dubai raised chiropractor-turned-artist Dr. Azra recently expanded on her visual storytelling through an exclusive capsule collection with Istanbul-based brand LES BENJAMINS. Using the traditional art of henna to expand on the contemporary aesthetics of Henna design, Azra Khamissa’s collection mirrors the East-meets-West synergy that encompasses both the brand and Azra herself.
Chef Cláudio Cardoso, culinary director, SLS Hotel Dubai, whose art is now at display at the hotel, said, “Showcasing artwork in properties has been done in the region before but it is not as popular a concept as it is in Europe or in the US. It gives us the chance to connect with an audience that doesn't necessarily go to museums. A lot of chefs have other interests and if they are artists, it's a great way to highlight their skills.” He partnered with his wife, actress and architect, Sarah Barlondo, and together they re-imagined the iconic SLS duck. Added Sarah, “As artists, I think showcasing your work in a hotel and or restaurant is a box we all want to check. The audience is diverse, there is a lot of movement of people and it's an opportunity to connect to an international audience.”
Pursuing an art form doesn’t really mean you have to follow it professionally, be qualified in the said field or make it your primary source of income. Sometimes, it can simply be about relaxing and enjoying.
Guests staying at Shangri-La-Hotel Dubai have a chance to relax and unwind with meditative postcards placed at the rooms. The brand recognises the widely accepted practice how the intricate art of colouring can help calm the mind, with benefits similar to meditation. A set of four postcards capture the scenes from around the hotel, which can be sent to home or taken home as keepsakes. We Love Art is a homegrown artistic creative experience that gives anyone and everyone the opportunity to paint a masterpiece. The brand offers painting evenings, painting courses, corporate experiences as well as Artboxes that are available worldwide. For the first time, even without any painting experience, one can enter a beautiful location in Dubai or Abu Dhabi and create a famous painting whilst listening to French Jazz music and eating some delicious food, all whilst making new friends and feeling great about oneself, away from the hectic routine of life. "I conceptualised the same in 2013. There was a clear gap in the market for people like me, who wanted to connect through art within the UAE. I seized the opportunity to create an art experience company, which provided not only premium art classes but also built a strong community, one that positively changes lives, inspires more awareness around mental health and wellbeing, and unites people,” said Denise Schmitz, founder and CEO, We Love Art.
Sarah and Cláudio’s collection on display "The World Has Gone Bananas" is a recollection of works that shines a light over issues such as the environment, climate change, politics, and war, etc. Is it safe to assume that the opportunities to showcase arts for non-artists too are ample in the country? “Absolutely. Showcasing our artwork in a hotel such as SLS gives us the opportunity to display it to a local and international audience,” added Sarah. “Hospitality marketing takes a look at how different sectors of the hospitality industry develop marketing strategies to promote their products or services, resulting in an increase in revenue,” said Alexandro, whose NFT dishes go by the names such as The Harvest and The Volcano.
ToDA, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, presents an engaging art history lesson with ‘The Little Artist’ educational workshop series that introduce young ones to different art movements each week. The children learn about the painting techniques and tricks of the trade of the most influential artists of the 20th century to create their masterpiece. It’s a chance for the kids to express themselves, relive stress, and you never know discover if they could be the next Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Miro, Klim, or Picasso – as they explore to create artworks inspired by these masters.
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