• May 26, 2018
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design diary

Design Diary: How art is blooming in the UAE

As a nationwide celebration of the arts begins this month, here are some highlights you simply have to experience

17:30 March 14, 2018

TASHKEEL: Ten Years Later

The Dubai-based incubator of contemporary art and design celebrates a decade of nurturing the regional creative scene with a new exhibition, Ten Years Later. This is not a retrospective; instead, this is a celebration of creatives whose careers Tashkeel has helped shape and, in turn, whose practice has been part of the organisation’s growth.

Featuring new works by 16 leading artists and designers from the UAE and beyond — Maitha Demithan, Majid Al Wissam Shawkat and Zuleika Penniman to name a few — the presentation that features eight nationalities brings together creatives who have crossed paths with the organisation, whether as a Tashkeel member, workshop instructor, artist-in- residence, or participant in a solo or group show.

“For the last decade, Tashkeel has enabled hundreds of artists and designers to experiment, innovate, collaborate and further their practice as well as their careers in the cultural industries,” says Lisa Ball-Lechgar, deputy director of Tashkeel. “This is a fitting way to mark this milestone in our history as we look forward to the next chapter.”

Ends April 26.

LOUVRE ABU DHABI: Visions of the World

For 11 weeks only, Louvre Abu Dhabi plays host to a wealth of rare and beautiful globes, maps, art and scientific instruments that chart the journey of human endeavour across two millennia. Globes, from time immemorial, have been regarded as symbols of knowledge and power.

Following humanity’s never ending quest for adventure and discovery, the story starts in ancient Greece and tracks our fascination with the science of astronomy as it passed through Muslim Spain in the 10th and 11th centuries. On display are the earliest known celestial globes from the Islamic world and one of the earliest known Arab astrolabe in the world.

March 23 — June 2.

INKED: La Casa Azul

The Al Serkal-based concept space is known for its one-of-a-kind pop-ups and bespoke, themed dinner events that can only be described as a creative expression shared in the presence of food. They follow up last year’s Dali-esque dinner theme, Plaisirs Supremes, with La Casa Azul, and it could not have been better timed. From the sidelines of Art Dubai 2018, Inked Dubai celebrates the power of the woman as the pop-up dinner experience takes guests into a three-dimensional immersive culinary representation of one of the most prolific, and fiercely independent female artists of all time, Frida Kahlo.

The setting pays homage to Kahlo’s penchant for juxtaposing realism and fantasy with emotion to portray strength and female empowerment. Inked joined forces with Flora & Fauna Visions to bring the 360° multimedia installation INSIDEOUT to the UAE. Revealed at the Triennale der Photographie in Hamburg, during Vienna Design Week 2015, the installation that features Leigh Sachwitz’s evocative lightscapes and music by the award-winning composer Andi Toma will serve as the centrepiece for the event.

March 19-24. Dinner: Dh485 per person, prior reservation required.

MARAYA ART CENTRE: All the Letters in All the Stars

The Sharjah-based non-profit creative space has partnered with Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival to present Timo Nasseri’s first solo show in the UAE. The underlying theme for ‘All the Letters in All the Stars’ takes form in Nasseri’s interpretation of the story of Ibn Muqla, a 10th century calligrapher who claimed to have found four missing letters in the Arabic language.

The works are a combination of new and older pieces, highlighting the story through a vast cross-section of media. From large-scale metal sculptures and sketches to diagrammatic representation of the missing letters, varied aspects of the artist’s practice are unified into a larger conversation. This dialogue between reality and fantasy unfolds the exhibition’s most significant work- an installation that in its reflective fragments remains in the pursuit of the infinite.

Ends April 5.