Presenting a trio of exhibitions at Emirates Palace Gallery, the Abu Dhabi Festival 2015’s visual arts programme is now open to the public. From photojournalistic images of important public events, to poetic reflections on Arab culture and Emirati identity, the artworks display the complexity of life in the Middle East, where tradition meets change in an ever-evolving environment of conflict, peace, religion and consumerism.
Located at The Gallery, Emirates Palace until April 20th, the three exhibitions entitled View From Inside: Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art curated by Karin Adrian von Roques, and Wendy Watriss Co-Founder of FotoFest; The 2015 Festival Commissions; and Emirati Insights, presents a diverse and stimulating selection of artworks from over 50 leading local and regional contemporary Arab artists, including Emirati artists Khalil Abdul Wahid and Karima Al Shomaly, Saudi artist, Reem Al Faisal, and Kuwaiti artist Tarek Al Ghoussein.
In The Gallery, the Festival Commissions, which annually supports the creation of new works by leading visual artists, presents Perfume of the Earth – a digital work on wood with sand by the Italy-based, Emirati artist Fatma Lootah; In Ode to the Bouquets by Noor Al Suwaidi is a celebration of the return to the simple beauties that nature offers; and on view in the Emirates Palace Auditorium Foyer is the commissioned installation by Sawsan Al Bahar entitled Wra’a il Zaman – Leaves of Time – a depiction of the state of suspension in which Palestinian refugees live.
Emirati Insights coincides with the release of ‘The Art of the Emirates’, an Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) publication that explores the Emirati visual arts sector through the people that give life to it. This is the first ADMAF publication to be available in bookstores across the Gulf. In addition, on Wednesday 1 April at 6.30pm participating Emirati artists Reem Falaknaz and Ammar Al Attar discuss their practice with Noor Al Suwaidi in a public talk at The Gallery.
View From Inside is also accompanied by a limited edition luxury publication, along with guided tours every Tuesday at 12:00pm and Saturday at 3:00pm.
The public is also invited to enjoy a special View From Inside Colloquium where a selection of the participating artists will discuss contemporary Arab photography, video, and mixed media art during a daytime forum (10:30am – 5:00pm) on Wednesday, April 15 at New York University Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island.