Tea with Culture

A podcast about the cultural happenings in the United Arab Emirates presented by Hind Mezaina (The Culturist) and Wael Hattar.

For the Love of Film 2015



Entries in Dubai (351)


QUOZ Arts Festival 2014


The third edition of QUOZ Arts Festival is on this Saturday, 8th November 2014 from 10am - 10pm. The all day event will include exhibition tours, performances, talks and film screenings - all free to enter. The complete schedule and map can be downloaded from here

The community-based event returns with an expanded programme, which will offer public events spanning design, music, art and film, across 45 creative spaces in Al Quoz’s arts district. Running from 10am till 10pm, the festival is free to attend and is open to all, making it a great initiative for the community to get involved in the local arts scene.

This year’s line-up will include live art and public murals by local artists, workshops, film screenings, gallery openings, live music performances and a street food market. Dedicated family-friendly events and workshops will take place through the day catering to children and parents alike.


Whilst most of the participating spaces are within walking distances, there are a few that aren't. There will be free QUOZ branded shuttle buses available for pick up and drop off from Times Square Mall and First Gulf Bank Metro Station to the various Quoz Arts Festival participating spaces.   


I won't highlight any specific exhibitions because they are all worth visiting (complete list of galleries can be found here), but I will highlight some of the events and spaces that are worth checking out. 


Satellite (10.00 am - 10.00 pm)
You will find a selection of art, publications, music and t-shirts by Barbu, Digital Gravel DXB, LovePrint. Satellite can be found in Alserkal Avenue.

Film screenings at Art Sawa (11.00am - 8.00pm) 
Art Sawa will sreen 3 artist-based film screenings throughout the day.

Pollock at 11.00am 

Basquiat at 4.40pm 

Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon at 8.00pm  

Sound Art Performance with Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver at Gallery Ward (4.30pm - 5.00pm)

Demo at Gulf Photo Plus of tintype portraits by Antonie Robertson (5.00pm - 6.00pm) 
Exhibiting artist Antonie Robertson will walk viewers through the tintype photography process by capturing portraits live on site at Gulf Photo Plus. You will also get a chance to see his solo exhibition, The Slow Portrait - UAE Tintype Photography.

Artist Talk at A4 Space (5.00pm - 6.00pm)  
Artists Lynne Heller and Jackie Calderwood will present a talk on ‘Engines of Difference’, a site-responsive project using tourist transportation and the geography of Dubai. 

Improv Theatre at The Courtyard Playhouse (6.30pm - 9.00pm)
Drama fans are invited to watch a showcase by the Geoffrey Dolan workshop participants from 6.00pm - 7.30pm, and the interactive and unpredictable show "Maestro" from 8.00pm. 

Film screening at A4 Space (7.00pm - 10.00pm)   
Dubai International Film Festival present ‘Hopper Stories’, a unique series of short fiction films inspired by the extraordinary work of American painter Edward Hopper.  




Event details
Date: Saturday, 8th November 2014 from - 10.00pm
Venue: Al Quoz, Dubai (location map
Detailed map and schedule of events. Free branded shuttles will be available for pick up and drop off from Times Square Mall and First Gulf Bank Metro Station to various Quoz Arts Festival participating spaces in Alserkal Avenue and Al Quoz.




QUOZ Arts Festival 2014 




Film Screening: The City Dark 

To accompany its latest exhibition Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen, East Wing will host a free film screening of The City Dark on Tuesday, 28th October 2014.


It's quite a suitable film to watch at this exhibition, since it addresses some of the issues raised in the Darkened Cities photo series, i.e. lack of visible stars in our skies due to light pollution and its impact on us physically and psychologically. It's a documentary worth watching, so if you're in the neighbiourhood, don't miss this. The exhibition is worth visiting as well. 


The City Dark chronicles the disappearance of darkness. When filmmaker Ian Cheney moves to New York City from Maine and discovers an urban sky almost completely devoid of stars. He poses a deceptively simple question, "What do we lose, when we lose the night?”



Exhibition details 
Date: Tuesday, 26th October at 7pm (Darkened Cities exhibition on till 20th November 2014)
Venue: Limestone House #12, Dubai International Financial Center (location map)
Free entry. 



Exhibition - Works on Paper: Hikayat at Green Art Gallery 

Installation view of Works on Paper: Hikayat

Last Saturday I visited Green Art Gallery to see Works on Paper: Hikayat. The exhibition includes over 50 works on on paper by Modern Arab artists including Khouzayma AlwaniMahmoud HammadAdham IsmailJamil MolaebFateh MoudarresAref El RayessKhaldoun ShishaklySeif Wanly and Elias Zayat


Taking storytelling as its main theme ("hikayat" means stories in Arabic), the exhibition brings together works that offer a glimpse of drawing’s potential to make cultural, social, and political proposals or stories, through diverse formal processes. 

Drawing is a medium that offers an intimate and open field for imaginative elaboration, in which concepts and ideas can emerge and change with relative ease. Uninhibited by the obligation to create a finished and independent object, as is traditionally associated with painting and sculpture, drawing as a medium lends itself readily to the theoretical and the experimental. 


The exhibition includes work that is beautiful, harsh, emotional and sensual. Despite all the artists being male, there is a strong female presence in the exhibition. There are some rare works here, so if you are in Dubai, don't miss this, it's on till Suday, 26th October.

My only gripe is that I wish the gallery includes a small description about each artist or work to help visitors understand the importance of this work, and to put it in cultural and historical context relevant to this region.)



My favourite work from this exhibition is a one of a kind piece by Khaldoun Sheishakly (see images below). Titled Shops and Vendors of the Past, it is a collection of 500 works on paper and due to its delicate condition, we cannot browse through each sheet. But the few pages that were laid out had such amazing details drawn with an ink pen, each one telling stories visually and with words. This piece ought to be in a museum for more people to see it. It is sublime. 

Khaldoun Shishakly, Shops and Vendors of the Past, Ink on paper, set of 100 works, each 26 x 21 cm

Installation view of Khaldoun Shishakly's Shops and Vendors of the Past, Ink on paper, set of 100 works, each 26 x 21 cm

Shops and Vendors of the Past is a rare account of 500 works on paper by a Syrian artist, Khaldoun Sheishakly, who has spent his entire life drawing and documenting 500 Damascene professions in intricate detail.

It represents an important history of storytelling and life in Syria and summarizes the artists’ needs to carve a cultural identity that reflected the groundbreaking social and political changes that were taking place at that time. 



Here are more works from the exhibition. 

Khouzayma Alwani

Khouzayma Alwani, Untitled, 1999, Ink on canson paper, 35.5 x 26.5 cm

The region’s political turmoils in the 1970s and 80s are portrayed by Khouzayma Alwani (b.1934, Syria). Alwani’s delicate horrors are so exquisite they beguile the viewer into fascination with intricate imagery. Following the Hama Massacre of 1981, his work revolved around the world as a big dramatic theater of monsters and beasts, in a tacit allusion to the Syrian society in a state of devastation. 


Aref El Rayess

Aref El Rayess, Untitled, c. 1973, Ink on canson paper, 36 x 44.5 cm

Aref El Rayess, Untitled, c. 1973, Ink on canson paper, 37.5 x 38 cm

The work in the exhibition by Aref el Rayess (1928-2005, Lebanon) belong to a series of drawings he produced in the early 1970s to denounce the corruption he was witnessing within the political circles governing the Middle East after the Cairo accord in 1969 and the 1973 Arab Israeli war.

For El Rayess, it is as if the leaders and politicians were gambling our destinies through fishy manipulations and tacit agreements, hence jeopardizing the ideals of the revolution his generation firmly believed in and fought for. The age of deceit has started, and the political scene in the Arab world seems like a big farce. 



Mahmoud Hammad

Mahmoud Hammad, Untitled, 1957, Gouache on paper, 35 x 26 cm 

Mahmoud Hammad, Untitled, 1958, Gouache on paper, 36 x 46 cm

Syrian master Mahmoud Hammad (1923-1988, Syria) recounted rural Syrian life, earlier in his career. Although he has been widely known for his late Abstract Calligraphic period (during the period 1964 till his death in 1988), in which the Arab script and letters became the main element, Hammad’s earlier work are of equal importance.

Upon his return from Rome, he moved to Daraa where he lived for two years and started a series of paintings depicting the social scenes of the Southern area of Horan (Daraa). During that period, Hammad’s central theme was the concept of the family, in addition to the role of the mother.

He was also concerned with the political landscape during that period such as February 1958, a work through which he evoked the union between Egypt and Syria by depicting the metaphorical birth of the two nations' child and at the same time, alluded to the Palestinian cause in many of his works amongst which A Girl from Horan, Wounded and Exile.

This exhibition includes Hammad’s works on paper from the Horan period, most of which became studies for much larger paintings, and many of which have never been shown to the public. 


Adham Ismail

Adham Ismail, Untitled, Ink on carton, 47.5 x 32.5 cm

Adham Ismail, Untitled, Ink on carton, 44 x 32 cm


Jamil Molaeb

Jamil Molaeb, Untitled, c. 1992, Gouache on carton, 50 x 70 cm

For many artists of his generation, storytelling included the representation of the traditional rural life they were witnessing. This is true of Lebanese artist Jamil Molaeb’s (b. 1948) works, which were inspired by the landscapes he saw in the mountains of Lebanon and other sceneries from the traditional life of different Arab communities, depicting in his own way the villages, cities, fields and the people in their daily life. 


Fateh Moudarres

Fateh Moudarres, Untitled, 1981, Watercolor on paper, 29.5 x 38.5 cm

For Fateh Moudarres (1922-1999, Syria), his representational language was engaged with mythology, religion and popular lore as well as a deep political engagement. An accomplished writer and poet, his “dessins” were also featured in several of his published short stories.

Moudarres was once quoted: “It looks childish, but it is not childish. In my paintings one can see, how much I love human beings, in my art I stand near them, when the power of fate and oppressive structures beset them”.  


Seif Wanly

Seif Wanly, Untitled, c. 1953, Pastel on canson paper, 30.5 x 47 cm

Seif Wanly, Untitled, c. 1953, Pastel on canson paper, 30.5 x 47 cm

The theatrical and the sublime is present in the work of Egyptian artist Seif Wanly (1906-1979). The exhibition includes several works on paper in which he portrayed society’s more esoteric dimensions, featuring medieval traditions, circus acrobats and ballet dancers. 


Elias Zayat

Elias Zayat, The Rider, 1967, Ink and watercolor on paper, 63 x 43 cm

Another artist who has been throughly engaged with mythology is the Syrian artist Elias Zayat (b. 1935). Considered among the great modern artists in Syria, Zayat has had a long and rich career in painting and drawing over many decades.

Known for his dramatic portraiture of mankind, his practice has been thoroughly engaged with the visual legacy of mythology, ancient civilizations and religions in the region. Figures intertwine, almost floating, while recurring images of faces, some classical, others saintly and yet others tortured, recall Zayat’s other endeavor – conservationist and restorer of orthodox icons.   




Exhibition details
Date: On till Saturday, 26th October 2014, Saturday - Thursday 10am - 7pm
Venue: Green Art Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai (location map) 



[images and text via Green Art Gallery]


Exhibition - Act & Application at Lawrie Shabibi

littlewhitehead - Parrot, from the series Our Pleasure, 2013 | Inkjet Print 277 x 270 cm (overall installation) 109 1/8 x 106 1/4

Act & Application at Lawrie Shabibi
is a group exhibition that brings together six contemporary artists from around the world: Ra di Martino, littlewhitehead, Arthur Prior, David Rickard, Darren Harvey-Regan and Setareh Shahbazi

Curated by London based William Lunn, the exhibition offers a selection from the breadth of diverse outcomes that result from artists’ use of photography within a broader multi-media practice.

It's quite a compelling selection of photography - if you are interested in photography that goes beyond the image, beyond the conventional norms, then don't miss this exhibition. It is on till 29th October 2014. 


Some of the works from the exhibition: 


Ra di Martino 

Ra di Martino - No More Stars (Star Wars) #14, 2010 | Archival pigment print on Baryta paper | 40 x 40 cm 15 3/4 x 15 3/4 in edition of 5 plus 1 artist's proofs



Ra di Martino's No More Stars (Star Wars) depicts ruins of abandoned desert film sets in Tunisia and Morocco. 

Whether the material ruins of a fictional future in No More Stars (Star Wars) or of a replica and dislocated Mecca in her untitled Morocco series, all aspects are considered through the lens of a filmmaker with only peripheral knowledge of photographic convention.

The effects are seen most noticeably in her choice of presentation. The No More Stars series have significant white space left beneath each print as if editors notes or subtitles for on screen dialogue might appear at any moment.




littlewhitehead -The Beef People, 2013 | Inkjet Print 277 x 270 cm 109 1/8 x 106 1/4 in

littlewhitehead - What are you doing?, 2013 | Inkjet Print 277 x 270 cm 109 1/8 x 106 1/4 in

Glaswegian artist duo littlewhitehead have extended their irreverent take on art production to include photography by enlarging holiday snaps of America taken from their families archive. The amateur nature of Our Pleasure adds to the authenticity of each found image - no matter how bizarre the content nothing is staged.

Without ever lifting a camera littlewhitehead create a photographic series with its own unconventional language that evokes a certain European nostalgia with regards to American culture.



Setareh Shahbazi

Setareh Shahbazi - Spectral Days #33, 2013 | Pigmented ink print 28 x 20 cm 11 1/8 x 7 7/8 in

Iranian Setareh Shahbazi’s starting point for her projects is photographs: family photos, film stills, postcards, magazine clippings and more. In her series Spectral Days Shahbazi revisits family photos she stumbled upon from her visit to Tehran in 2009, conjuring up memories of her family’s exile from Iran following the revolution. 

With a healthy disregard for the sanctity of photography as a mirror of reality, she breaks down the images using digital manipulation. Blending, dissolving and over-painting the images to further decontextualize her subjects she engages our imagination in read infinite possible narratives. 



David Rickard 

David Rickard - Exhaust #3, 2011 | C-type print 100 x 75 cm 39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in

Born in New Zealand but based in London, David Rickard examines our relationship to space in architectural terms. With the work Exhaust, he tests his respiratory requirements on a space during one 24 hour period, capturing every outbreath without sleep or rest in large foil balloons.

Working in collaboration with photographer Manuel Vason, images were captured throughout the process, recording the totemic rise of 98 balloons as they accumulated. Here Rickard uses photography purely as an outsourced documentary record of a transitory performance.



Arthur Prior 

British artist Arthur Prior has made several series of quasi-photographic images using his own customised scanning technology. While this unconventional approach to making images throws out many photographic compositional concerns his recent work Various incarnations of Shirley singles out and documents one core convention of the photographic tradition – the printers test trip.

Taking the original colour test strip model ‘Shirley’ as its starting point the artist’s book charts the history of the strips and the various models who came to be known collectively as the ‘Shirleys’. When compiled as a record the effects of feminism, globalization, racial equality, political correctness and technology are drawn out, in subtle and often humorous juxtapositions.



Darren Harvey-Regan 

Darren Harvey Regan - Mass, 2013 | C-Print on archival paper | 100 x 80cm central panel, 90 x 35cm left and right panels

Born in Britain, Darren Harvey-Regan studied photography but works across disciplines to subvert, question and extend the conventions of photography and its relationship to representation and the physical world.

In Mass the simplest and most direct approach is favored in order to render the medium as transparent as possible. Presenting the image in this triptych form he draws not on photographic convention but on the tradition of icon painting. Enhanced by the title - which alludes as much to ceremony as the peculiar weight of the palm, which is its central focus, the artist manipulates representation and transports these objects into the realm of the profound.



Exhibition details
Date: On till 29th October 2014, Saturday - Thursday 10am - 6pm 
Venue: Lawrie Shabibi, Unit 21, Al-Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai (location map)
Phone: +9714 346 9906  




Slidefest #14 - 22nd October 2014

© Yasser Alwan (from Akkasah: Center for Photography at NYU Abu Dhabi)


The 14th edition of Slidefest organised by Gulf Photo Plus is back this month after a long summer break. The latest edition will take place on Wednesday, 22nd October at 7pm in the Knowledge Village Auditorium

If you've not been to Slidefest before, it's a free community event hosted by Gulf Photo Plus where photographers take the stage to share unique, personal photography projects that run the gamut of genres including landscape and portrait photography, travel and fine art photography and much more. The event also aims to bring photographers (amateurs and pros) and people from the photography community together where people can network, connect and share stories.


Here's the line up of presenters: 


Farah Al Balooshi

Farah Al Balooshi will present a series of minimal black and white fine art photographs that capture man-made and natural architecture in the purest and simplest forms.



Özge Calafato  

From the Yasser Alwan Collection 

Özge Calafato currently works with the New York University in Abu Dhabi, and will be presenting a project called Akkasah, which is the name of the Centre for Photography at the University.  

Akkasah explores the histories and contemporary practices of photography in the Arab world. It fosters the scholarly study of these histories and practices in dialogue with other photographic cultures and traditions from around the world. Through a range of activities, the centre also supports the developing photographic culture in the UAE.  

Ozge will be presenting work from the first photography collection that Akkasah acquired, Vernacular Photography from Egypt: The Yasser Alwan Collection. 



Jack Dabaghian 

Jack Dabaghian unfolds a brilliant mix of story-telling and colourful visualisation while showcasing tribal traditions, fashion and daily routines, all told with unfettered honesty. He engages with his subjects in a way that puts them at ease resulting in an honest representation of their individual lives. 



Gerald Donovan 

Gerald Donovan is a photographer based in Dubai. For the last 18 months he has been working with Dubai Film Productions on creating a revolutionary 360 degree immersive tour of Dubai that is due to launch in December 2014.  "Little Planet" is a timelapse of Dubai International Airport.  Gerald explains,

"Later this year at a groundbreaking website will be launched that will enable you to explore Dubai from anywhere in the world utilising state of the art 360 degree multimedia.  As a sneak preview of the kind of amazing content to come, you can experience what it's like to be standing on the top of the control tower at Dubai International Airport. The timelapse was shot over a 30 hour period depicting over 1,000 planes landing, taking off, and taxiing at the airport." 


Brian Kerrigan

Brian Kerrigan has headed the photo department at The National since the paper’s inception in 2008. In addition to leading a team of editors, photographers and multimedia staff, he’s also a passionate photographer.

With camera in tow, Brian has spent the past two years documenting life in the United Arab Emirates shooting nightlife, street culture and portraiture.  Kerrigan will be sharing a selection of his UAE work for Slidefest.



Catalin Marin 

Catalin Marin will be presenting a series titled "When Time Becomes a Loop". Catalin explains, 

 "Ever since I started learning photography, I have always been fascinated with photographing rivers, waterfalls and oceans. A photograph is a single moment in time and yet a body of water is something that's constantly moving and changing. Sometimes, these changes are so slow that our eyes cannot really perceive them and this is where long exposure photographs come into play. Keeping the camera shutter open for long period of times allowed me to capture landscapes which we will never truly see, but which we can easily imagine."



Shahid Mohammed  

Shahid Mohammed will be presenting a series of images titled The Dream Sellers of Kolkata.  In his images he examines the relationship between the buyer and seller in various locations throughout Kolkata.  He feels that in our modern age bar codes are replacing with conversations, care and concern.  

Where once the relationship between the buyer and seller was a close connection, this has begun to be replaced with a fast and impersonal exchange. Shahid's work highlights merchants in Kolkata who still have that connection with the community, still know their customers by name, and greet them with a smile.




Event details:
Date: Wednesday, 22nd October at 7pm
Location: Knowledge Village Auditorium, Dubai (location map)
Free entry.


Exhibition - Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen at East Wing 

© Thierry Cohen

When I first looked at
Thierry Cohen's series Darkened Cities, I thought of how sad and poetic they are, beautiful images of what could be. 

It's a series of work that must be seen in person, looking at the work online does not do it any justice. So make sure you go to East Wing in Dubai to see this series. The exhibition is on from 16th October - 20th November 2014. 

Look out for an interview with Thierry Cohen soon, but for now, here's more about Darkened Cities, via East Wing:  


Photographer Thierry Cohen Imagines World Cities Without Lights, his dazzling photographs are rich not only in implication and in sheer visual appeal, but in technical ingenuity. The laborious process of creating his nights-cape images reveals exactly what a specific city’s inhabitants would see when gazing skyward on a clear night if pollution — atmospheric and, even more importantly, light pollution — were not obstructing the view.

The method he employs to produce his pictures is, in its own way, as fascinating as the result. After photographing a cityscape, Cohen positions himself on that city’s exact same geographical latitude in a desert — often thousands of miles away — and takes a photograph, facing the same direction, at the same sidereal time (a scale based on the Earth’s rate of rotation relative to fixed stars) as in the city itself. 


© Thierry Cohen

“The best way to show the stars that are no longer [visible from the city] is to simply put them back in their place,” Cohen says.

“I use the same techniques [as early photography innovators], simply with different tools,” Cohen explains.  

Despite the state-of-the-art digital manipulation he brings to bear, Cohen compares his procedure to techniques utilized by old (sometimes very old) masters of the craft. Like Gustave Le Gray, who in the 1850s merged images of seascapes with sky scenery, Cohen also combines two “scape” pictures — a cityscape and a star-sprayed nightscape — in order to build his utterly singular photographs.


© Thierry Cohen

Cohen has traveled the world and shuttled between bustling cities and empty, silent deserts in pursuit of his vision. For his Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo photos, he traveled to the Atacama Desert in Chile. For New York, he travelled to Black Rock Desert, Nevada. 

Beyond the technical challenges that he’s faced, Cohen has also endured what might be termed more prosaic, if no less intense, human-made hurdles. When he ventured into the Western Sahara, for example, to create his Hong Kong nightscape, he had to be escorted. Due to the conflict between the Polisario Front and Morocco and the prevalence of countless land mines that still pock the territory, it was far too dangerous for him to wander the desert alone. 


© Thierry Cohen

“That is when the project went further than talking about pollution,” he says. “It became something political. The sky is a link between human beings. It is a representation of what earth should be — without borders and without war.”

Although his photographs interrogate the stresses and the benefits — in fact, the very nature of urban living — Cohen started the project with a more basic goal: namely, to create utopian (and, in a sense, imaginary) photographs that let the viewer dream.

Ultimately, though, what he’s trying to do is bring to the city the silence he felt in the desert. “I am creating a bridge between the two environments,” he says.  




Exhibition details 
Date: 16th October - 20th November 2014
Hours: Saturday through Thursday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm 
Venue: Limestone House #12, Dubai International Financial Center (location map)  


Exhibition: The Other Hundred at East Wing 

Gwenn Dubourthoumieu, Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Other Hundred is a photography initiative created as a counterpoint to popular media's 'rich lists', such as the Forbes 100. Its aims to highlight stories of people from around the world who are not rich, but deserve to be celebrated. 

This initiative was launched in Hong Kong in 2013 by Chandran Nair, Founder and CEO of The Global Institute For Tomorrow( GIFT), an independent pan-Asian think tank based in Hong Kong. He describes The Other Hundred as follows: 

"While the project is aimed to shed light on the unspoken majority, it does not attempt to celebrate poverty or criticize wealth. The goal of 'The Other Hundred' is both to inform and to provoke thought.

The implication of many of the rich lists and articles put out by the media communicates that being rich is the only way to succeed, or live a life of meaning. The reality is that the majority of the people in the world are not rich and we wanted to tell their side of the story." 

East Wing is exhibiting work from The Other Hundred project which includes photo-stories from 91 countries across six continents.

The exhibition is on till Friday, 10th October 2014.  

Ari Jala Rafa'at, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq


Leo Kwok, Hong Kong, China

Thomas Rommel, Karate, Ouagadougon, Burkina Faso

Gwenn Dubourthoumieu, Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo



Exhibition details
Date: On till Friday, 10th October 2014
Hours: Saturday through Thursday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm  
Venue: East Wing, Limestone House # 12, Dubai International Financial Center, Dubai (location map)  


Al Ghurair Centre's Public Art Commission


Al Ghurair Centre, one of the first malls in Dubai, is inviting artists to submit proposals for a public art programme. In a city where art is mainly found in art galleries, it's great to see there's a private organisation trying to encourage public art. 

The long term intention of the Public Art Commission is to promote and support the work of UAE based artists in public spaces in Dubai, whilst enhancing our local spaces whilst energising our local, unused spaces to capitalise on social interaction.


All artists based in the United Arab Emirates can apply to this, as long as it's a new and original idea. Full details of the application rules can be found here

Five winners will be selected to have their work incorporated into Al Ghurair Centre's permanent collection.

Additionally, 10 shortlisted artists will receive mentorship sessions with panel of jurors. And one select artist will be sent on an all-expenses paid mentorship programme to the UK with Cedar Lewinhson.


There are no submission fees for this. Deadline is Friday, 10th October 2014. You can download the submission form here



Galleries Night at Alserkal Avenue on 15th September 2014


Galleries Night at Alserkal Avenue is back this month on Monday, 15th September 2014 to mark the start of the new 2014-2015 arts season, after a break over the summer period.

There will be several new exhibitions opening that night, plus some events and entertainment. You can find the full line up here. Here are my top five picks for the night: 


Carbon 12 

Bernard Buhmann - Henriette (2014)

Carbon 12 will present Bernard Buhmann’s second solo show, The Pretenders, characters of his creation as they preform their lives for all to see.

The inhabitants of the paintings tell an abstract story as they cavort across the canvas. Who are they and what makes them what they are? Each painting has its own fiction, but when seen together they allude to a much larger issue. 

Surrealist in style, Buhmann’s technique is defined by color hues, subject illusion, and precarious perspectives. Using his background in sociology and painting from the University of Applied Arts and the University of Vienna, Buhmann explores issues of how to find ones self in social and individual life in times of uncertainty and rapids change. 


Green Art Gallery 

Seif Wanly, Untitled, c. 1953, Pastel on canson paper, 30.5 x 47 cm

Green Art Gallery’s opening exhibition is entitled Works On Paper: Hikayat consists of over 50 works on paper by Modern Arab artists including Khouzayma Alwani, Mahmoud Hammad and Adham Ismail, to name a few.

Taking storytelling as its main theme, the exhibition brings together works that offer a glimpse of drawing’s potential to make cultural, social, and political proposals or stories, through diverse formal processes.


Grey Noise

Mariam Suhail - Interruptions 1 (one part of a four piece installation) 

Grey Noise gallery will be showcasing Pakistani artist Mariam Suhail’s first solo show in Dubai. The exhibition will have a set of works that come together as Accidental Excavations of objects and ideas.

Comprising interventions into books, scanner malfunctions, discovery of old material and information about the birth of a new city, the show presents images, prints and texts that lie somewhere in the space between studies and proposals.


Gulf Photo Plus

Khalid Hasan

Gulf Photo Plus will welcome visitors from to meet and chat with Khaled Hasan and Neo Ntsoma, two of the six exhibiting photographers of Majority World, a unique photo agency that highlights and supports inspiring works by photographers from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Focusing on these diverse continents, Majority World encourages stories to be told by photographers in their own context, sharing unique insight into local cultures, environments and development issues. 


Lawrie Shabibi

Ra di Martino - Waking up at Night in the Middle of the Day #2, 2010 | Archival pigment print on Baryta paper 70 x 100 cm / 27 1/2 x 39 3/8 in

Lawrie Shabibi will open Art & Application, a group exhibition that brings together six contemporary artists from around the world: Rä di Martino, Littlewhitehead, Arthur Prior, David Rickard, Darren Harvey-Regan and Setareh Shahbazi.

Curated by London based William Lunn, this exhibition offers a selection from the breadth of diverse outcomes that result from artists’ use of photography within a broader multi-media practice.



The complete line up of exhibitions and events can be found here.   
Event page on Facebook



Sound Art Film and Discussion Programme at Tashkeel - presented by Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver


Sound art isn't something we experience in Dubai very often, but I'm glad to say, starting this September this will change (hopefully). 

Tashkeel's resident sound artists Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver will present weekly film screenings, listening sessions and discussions this September, part of three major projects they will be showing throughout the UAE (including their participation in the 20th International Symposium for Electronic Art in November), culminating with a show at Tashkeel itself in early 2015. 

Entrance is free with some complimentary refreshments. Below is the full line up. Personally, I'm really excited about this, and hope you will be too. 



Wednesday, 3rd September 2014 at 7pm (duration 90 minutes) 

The Art of Listening  
Featuring extracts from movies Four American Composers: John Cage directed by Peter Greenaway, Learning to Listen by Dan Linn-Pearl, Marianna Roe and Andi Spowart and from the radio show The Listeners by Sarah Blunt

Introduction by Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver
Guest speaker: UAE based, US sound artist Jonny Farrow   

Four American Composers

Learning to Listen



Wednesday, 10th September 2014 at 7pm (duration 90 minutes) 

What is Sound Art? 
Featuring extracts from Learning to Listen by Dan Linn-Pearl, Marianna Roe and Andi Spowart, Water Walk by John Cage - Making Sounds by David Toop and A History of Sound Art by J Milo Taylor

Introduction by Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver
Speaker: Chris Weaver


Learning to Listen

Water Walk - John Cage  

Wednesday, 17th September 2014 (duration 90 minutes) 

Curating Sound Art
Featuring extracts on female sonic artists, curating sound panels, and Sonic Art Boom - The Art of Noise by Sara Jane Hall

Introduction by Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver
Guest speakers: Aleksei Afansiev (sound director and Green Art Gallery manager), Karim Sultan (music producer, The Third Line operations manager and Kalimat Magazine founding editor) 

Sonic Art Boom - The Art of Noise



Wednesday 24th September 2014 at 7pm (duration 90 minutes) 

Sound as a Genre and Protagonist 
Featuring extracts from Fuego en Castilla by José Val del Omar, The House is Black by Forough Farrokhzad and Weekend by Walter Ruttmann.    

Opening Performance: a work in progress performance of an experimental choir of architects, planners and surveyors as part of a forthcoming sound installation by Weaver and Bradley. 

Introduction by Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver 
Speaker: Fari Bradley 


Fuego en Castilla - José Val del Omar


The House is Black by Forough Farrokhzad 





If you're in Dubai, don't miss this. Here's a map with directions on how to get to Tashkeel  


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