Renowned UAE cultural body supports talented artists
DUBAI: Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) extended its support to the region’s leading art fair Abu Dhabi Art 2019 (Nov. 21 – 23), by encouraging and supporting emerging talents and established artists. This year, the foundation joined the nation in celebrating the Year of Tolerance and shed a light on the nation’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, intercultural dialogue and openness as envisioned by the UAE’S Founding Father, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. More than 4,000 visitors were welcomed to explore the special collection on display within the ADMAF Pavilion, featuring unique works of calligraphy, drawing, mixed media and sculpture, all from the ADMAF Art Collection, including a new work specially commissioned for the exhibition by Spanish artist, María José Rodríguez Escolar titled The Colour of Memory. Other contributing artists were Mona Saudi, Sara Al Haddad, Nabil Anani, Hassan Massoudy, Mohammed Mandi and Rajeev Kumar.
The ADMAF Pavilion also presented The Nationals’ Gallery, a pioneering initiative launched in 2010, with the aim to create a digital platform for visual artists of the UAE. The interactive display enabled interested artists to register and apply online for inclusion.
Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, ADMAF Founder said: “Abu Dhabi Art represents a global
Emirati platform for visual arts that attracts hundreds of galleries representing Arab and international art, and it shines a light on masterpieces by major artists from around the world. “The success of Abu Dhabi Art each year contributes to the flourishing visual arts scene in this country and further positions Abu Dhabi on the world cultural stage.” She added: “This year, celebrating the Year of Tolerance, ADMAF is proud to commemorate the vision of our founding father Sheikh Zayed, with special collection of unique artworks from the ADMAF Art collection.
“These artworks have been chosen as they feature intercultural dialogue and openness to others and include calligraphy, drawing, mixed media and sculpture, along with an exclusive new commission, The Colour of Memory by the
Spanish artist María José Rodríguez Escolar.”
She noted that the ADMAF Pavilion “also presented The Nationals’ Gallery, a pioneering initiative that was launched in 2010, that aims to create a digital platform for Visual Artists of the UAE. The Nationals’ Gallery includes more than 135 artists who have contributed to the enhancement of the UAE’S vibrant arts scene, and further positions the country as a global arts and creative destination.
“We are proud to be part of Abu Dhabi Art and to contribute to the Arab and international public’s awareness of the UAE’S countless art achievements, and to provide visitors to the exhibition, especially students and young people, with the opportunity to learn about inspiring artistic and creative experiences, which are a motivating factor for their talents and energies.”
During the exhibition, ADMAF also hosted a dedicated and varied educational programme to nurture an appetite for learning in visitors and welcome art enthusiasts to network and benefit from one another’s individual perspectives.
This included guided tours by Emirati curator Nasser Abdullah and compelling talks by Escolar and Falwah Alhouti, Ibrahim Abdellatif and Omer Al Raee, winners of 2019’s Christo and Jeanne-claude Award. Their award winning and recently unveiled installation Sila, was also on display within the fair – a first for the Christo and Jeanne-claude Award, which is an ADMAF and NYU Abu Dhabi co-collaboration.
Sila is an Arabic term that translates to “link” or “connection”. The installation takes its inspiration from the characteristic of “unity” in the UAE’S folkloric dance, Al-ayyalah, a combination of poetry, drum music and simple movements.
Separated into two rows facing one another just like the dance itself, the installation is made up of units with varying heights to highlight the diversity of movement. The dynamic quality of the installation is embodied through how these units are interacting with each other and as a group, illustrating their unity. To accentuate the dramatic effect, black and white were selected due to the stillness and motion they create when laid over each other.
Open to Uae-based students and recent graduates, The Christo and Jeanne-claude Award was established to encourage the creation of new artwork in the UAE, acting as a launch pad for visual artists across the Emirates and offering winners an insight into professional life as an artist from commission to exhibition. Founded in 1996, ADMAF is one of the oldest, not-for-profit cultural organisations in the Arabian Gulf. Pioneering new artistic practices, it seeks to deepen global cross-cultural dialogue and inspire a renewed interest in the creativity of the UAE and Arab world.
Often in partnership with leading national and international institutions, ADMAF delivers multidisciplinary initiatives for people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities through the Abu Dhabi Festival, year-round youth platforms and community programmes.