Plastic dress, cafe with a tree: 8 striking images from Sikka art festival in Dubai

Hundreds of young artists showcase their skills and techniques at the event


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 26 Feb 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 15 Mar 2023, 6:53 PM

From interactive art installations to creative uses of waste materials, it was a festival for art lovers at the Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood as Sikka 2023 got off to a colourful start. The art and design festival gave hundreds of young creative artists a chance to show off their skills and technique.

In addition to the displays, there are also stage programmes to showcase local talents and several homegrown food and beverage outlets. What’s more, there are several free workshops for young children as well as adults at the fair. Here are eight things that caught our attention on Day 1 of Sikka:

1. Threads of Time

Threads of Time: weaving history on a blank canvas- Put together by Emirati artists Hamda Ahmad Al Falahi and Reema Al Mheiri, the interactive art installation gives visitors a chance to celebrate the region’s rich heritage of weaving by tying a thread of their favorite color to the display.

2. University students

A collaborative artwork- Students of Zayed University have been on site breathing life into a collaborative artwork that was created as part of a course. Students of a course on murals each submitted a solo artwork as part of their project which was combined to create one large piece.

3. Emirati dolls

Cultural Dolls: Emirati dollmaker Hanady Badow has put a bunch of her handiwork on display at this year’s Sikka. The dolls, reflecting the traditional Emirati charm, range in prices from Dhs. 250 to Dhs. 800 and have been grabbing a lot of eyeballs for their authenticity.

4. Homegrown dishes

Let Them Eat Art: There are several homegrown brands serving up a variety of dishes at the festival. But if you are looking for a unique experience, head to the café with a tree growing right in the middle. Serving a variety of meals, treats and coffee, the XVA café also has a display of artwork.

5. Sharjah Performing Arts

Plastic Dress: Students of the Sharjah Performing Arts have been creating a dress completely out of plastic which they are hoping to finish by the end of Sikka. According to the students, the idea is to draw attention to how the simplest of materials can be used to create striking stage décor and costumes.

6. Mai Majdy artwork

I am here: Artist Mai Majdy has depicted moments of strength from the women she has observed around her in a handful of striking artworks that marry colour and technique. Each of them has a unique identity and reflects the name of her exhibition: I am here!

7. Eye-catching piece

Tomorrow: The mural by artist Mark Barretto is a colourful addition to the Sikka art festival. With its bold colours and symmetrical shapes, it is an eye-catching piece.

8. Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror on the wall: Mounted on a wall facing each other, the display titled Mirrorigami is a collection of mirrors with that offers endless reflections. Created by Ali Bahmani, it is made with metal and stainless steel.


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