Dubai: A unique form of art called Decoupage is all the rage in Dubai as it infuses colour into the homes and hearts of residents.
Rekha Sunil, an Indian artist who runs the Time Square Centre-based Creativa Middle East (CME), said the main reason behind Decoupage’s popularity is that anyone can master it. “We are getting an increasing number of people, both Emiratis and expats, who want to learn the art and buy supplies at Creativa,” she said.
Sahira Ameen, manager, Dubai International Art Centre, which also offers courses in Decoupage, said, “Decoupage is derived from the French word decouper, meaning to cut out. It is the creative art of assembling, pasting and varnishing paper cut-outs for decorating objects.. The decoupage artist is limited only by his or her imagination. Anyone who can use scissors and glue can do decoupage! With time, education and experience, the decoupeur will progress from simple designs to complex works of art.”
Annais Benetua, who owns Creative Hands at the Green Community Village, said, “Decoupage has come a long way since I first learned the art 15 years ago. From planters and small accessories, there’s a whole range of items it is used for now, including furniture, fabrics, metal, glass and wooden products.”
She agrees Decoupage is an easy craft. “It typically involves glueing. Some of our best students include special needs people.”
According to Sunil, any product, old and new alike, can be transformed with a Decoupage makeover. “We use everything from baskets, bags, treasure chests and multi-purpose boxes to cushion covers, mobile cases, coasters, trays and frames, even furniture.”
Michel Vandamme, head of design at the retailer Home Centre, said Decoupage, which started as a DIY hobby-art, allows people to customise their belongings, with the process adding a dose of quirky personality to the pieces and helping to revive distressed or ageing pieces of furniture.
He said, “There are different techniques to decoupage and the beauty of this collage is the infinite choice of inspiration including fonts and graphics from newspapers, comics, textures and coloured paper, which give an exciting second life to any piece of furniture. Decoupage always leads to a unique piece that will reflect personality, taste, mood and aspiration while making something new from something old, as the classic French expression goes … faire du neuf avec du vieux.”