Digital canvas

Local artist Jalal Luqman takes 10 artists on an unforgettable art trip of the UAE, the outcome of which is the exhibition 'A Drop of Rain'

By Layla Haroon, Contributor

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Published: Mon 7 Apr 2008, 12:31 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:43 PM

REPUTED TO be one of the most provocative and foremost digital artists of the UAE, Jalal Luqman is reshaping the way people look at art. And the best example of his demeanour is his brainchild 'Jalal's Art Trip'.

'I want to help others the way I once wanted someone to help me, unconditionally,' says Jalal Luqman to City Times. 'I remember the beginning of my art journey. The struggles I had to go through, that still exist, were hard-hitting. And so I took up a job to support the emerging artists in my country.'

He chose ten non-established artists from the list of the 300 responses that he received. 'The selection was based on two criteria: artists should be based in Abu Dhabi and they must not be established artists,' he says. 'Without any due thought or consideration of nationality, religion, age or gender, I undertook my mission to teach them whatever I have learnt.'

The Ghaff Gallery, co-owned by Jalal Luqman is presenting the works of the participants of his art trip, entitled 'A Drop of Rain.' The art trip was spread across different locations in the UAE, allowing artists to be inspired by whatever moved them.

Jalal's art is exceptionally noteworthy because of the integration of traditional painting methods with cutting-edge technology. Moreover, it stems from precisely how masterfully he blends these two styles together.

The artists exhibiting their work at 'The First Drop of Rain' exhibition are Abdollah Eissa Abdul-Kareem, Camille Hilmi, Courtney Radl Perrocco, Janine Ibbini, Julia Ibbini, Linda Stephanian, Muneera Al-Bu Saidi, Neena Rai, Rola Shamas and Saad Saif Hammoud Al-Busaeedi.

Abdollah Eissa loves to play with oil paints, their techniques, alienations and measures. Through drawing, he says, he puts across his sensations as they are in the most limpid and credible way.

Camille Hilmi keeps a genuine passion for visual art and photography, both digital and traditional. 'I chose the camel as the prime subject. In 'Cameliology', you can see the camel in different states.'

Born and raised in the United States, Courtney Radl Perrocco is inspired by her surroundings. 'The people I observe on a daily basis, both strangers and those close to me are the best subject for my work,' says Courtney.

In recent years, Janine Ibbini has combined her love of fabric and threads with her interests in fine art and this has resulted in her passion - textile art. 'Textile art is so tactile!' Janine excites. 'I could actually wrap myself in one of my art works.'

If art's intention is to elicit a response, Julia Ibbini achieves that through vividness in her work. She is best known as a freeform digital artist. 'Freeform' because she incorporates numerous traditional mediums and then layers imagery over and over again using computer software until the final piece is created.

An Armenian born in Tehran, sculptor Linda Stephanian likes challenging herself to experience different techniques and materials from soft and mild papier-mâché to hard bronze. Inspired by the intertwining, twisted and swirling forms of dead trees and the sand dunes of the desert.

Muneera Al-Bu Saidi has loved painting since she was young and the purpose of her painting, she says, is to paint in such a way as to provide the true meaning of natural beauty.

Indian born mixed media artist, Neena Rai inherits her flair for art from her mother and grandmother, both artists; one of Batik and the other of Oils. Neena's wanderlust has taken her many a place, far and wide - 124 cities and 22 countries. And through these journeys' she has imbibed new ideas, shapes, themes, and colours that translate into pieces of art.

Although videographer Rola Shamas did not scout physically on the trip, as affected by migraine, she quintessentially depicted the entire outing in a film installation projected on three corners of a dark room in a gallery space.

Saad Saif Hammoud fancies drawing nature and heritage. 'Expression is my foremost source... the expression of anything that has a meaning and a beauty,' he says.


What: The First Drop of Rain

Where: Ghaff Art Gallery, Abu Dhabi

When: April 7-20

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