‘It’s all about Africa’

THE DUBAI ART scene has witnessed a boom in recent years, with myriad galleries and exhibitions drawing a steady stream of enthusiasts to the city.

By Oladiji Dada

Published: Thu 26 Aug 2010, 10:13 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 12:07 PM

African artists have proudly taken their place among this flourishing community, serving as cultural ambassadors for their continent, and their success is reflected by the increasing level of interest towards African art. As Tobias Mitchell, an avid British art collector, puts it, “It’s magnetic, once you key into the beauty of African art it’s almost irresistible.”

Two artists at the forefront of this movement are Natalie Poole from Cape Town in South Africa and Bibi from Nigeria.

Natalie is surrounded by creativity; her father is an artist and an arts director, while her husband is an accomplished sculptor. For Natalie, “Art is influenced by where you come from.” This explains her love of natural beauty; something Cape Town possesses in abundance. By using the medium of abstract paintings, her works reflect landscapes through the use of texture, sand and colour.

Natalie is the 2006 joint winner of the Young Artist Award – a prestigious arts competition in Dubai which draws huge numbers of participants.

For Bibi, African art is an expression of the continent’s origin and culture. As she proudly puts it, “It’s all about Africa”.

Bibi has always been interested in art, and demonstrated a flair for it, but the turning point came in 2003 when she met an inspiring artist back home in Nigeria, who mentored her towards the crucial steps of becoming an accomplished artist.

For more information on Natalie Poole’s works, visit www.arte.ae or call 050 6873554. For more information on Bibi’s works, visit www.paintingbibi.org or call 055 7611720.

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