The works of ten young Emirati artists — Hind Bin Demaithan, Reem Al Gaith, Maitha Huraiz, Layla Juma, Abdul Rahman Al Ma'aini, Shaikha Lateefa Bint Maktoum, Khalid Mezaina, Kholoud Sharafi, Moza Al Suwaidi and Abeer Tahlak — feature in Re-Source, an exhibition under way at Elementa Gallery, Dubai.
The artists, according to the curator of the exhibition Mohammad Kazem, represent a “new generation willing to step into unknown territories and new spaces''.
Cristiana De Marchi, the co-curator of the show, says:
“[The ‘Source' in] Re-Source symbolises origin, which is identifiable with the idea of youth. ‘Re-' [represents the] repetition of an experience; it implies a philosophical approach to action.''
Hind Bin Demaithan, 21, embodies her ideas in two works: TV Set, where she conveys her experiences through images, and And So What Is Perfection?, which expresses the obsession with looks through the figure of a woman.
The media and medicine have come a long way with advancements in technology, Demaithan says. Seeking “the ideal look'' is a rising fad and the media reminds people that something needs to be changed for them to be flawless.
Losing weight has become a universal goal. Slimming pills, gymnasiums and liposuction are some of the many ways to attain perfect looks.
“But what exactly is a faultless form?'' Demaithan asks. “Having [had] to go through this experience myself has made me realise that being perfect is accepting yourself for who you are and not by how you are judged.''
Demaithan combines photography and graphic design in her installations to convey her concepts.
“These mediums complete each other and translate my concepts perfectly. Through TV set, the message I have attempted to convey is that the media nowadays chooses to reveal only part of a story.
"The audience should not believe everything the media says. It should seek the authenticity of the sources,'' Demaithan says.
Venice Carnival by Moza Al Suwaidi, 22, expresses the artist's passion for surfaces. Al Suwaidi paints people in crowded areas such as markets, cafés and festivals. Her portrait The Person symbolises spiritual directions and stages within a person.
“Everyone deals with a multilayered individuality that gets complicated when it comes to relations with others. All of us are affected by similar uncertainness about our self-interpretation,'' Al Suwaidi says.
“In my work, I show the unique colours of the Venice Carnival, a festival famous for masks and traditional fashions since the beginning of the 14th century. It is a perfect synthesis of the way individuals play with their characters.
“I have a liberated style of painting; drawing colourful, spacious parts comforts me psychologically. The viewer should delve into the painting and sense it, live it and figure out its purpose.
I sometimes find myself drawing without a plan or purpose. Spontaneous harmony attracts each one of us to the other and as a result I find my hand flying in the sky of painting and my feeling translated into it bit by bit.
The painting is then born, communicating conflicting feelings of anger, pain and joy. I agree most viewers may look at it and get confused. However, as I said earlier, they should look deeper and the meaning will appear gradually.
I like to draw crowded places and featureless people because I don't care about the details and I am obsessed with colours,'' Al Suwaidi says.
Shaikha Lateefa Bint Maktoum, 23, has two of her works, including My World, at Re-Source.
“My works incorporate mediums including painting, sculpture and illustration. However, I find photography the fundamental part of recording imagery. I enjoy moving across mediums.
"This is helped by the use of the computer, on which I can further manipulate the images to add a unique, personal dimension,'' she says.
“I am intrigued by the world of thoughts and emotions. I have realised that I use my art as a form of catharsis and through it I am able to express feelings that I could never put in words.
Even though I use other people as my models, I utilise them as a vehicle to convey my messages, though I recognise that each viewer will have his/her own interpretation of what they see.
“I use the veil in my work because it is an important part of who I am. Yet the work is not just about the veil, it is about the person behind it. Therefore, I'm determined to show how beneath the veil there is a woman with feelings and emotions just like the others.
“My World represents periods of transition in life. The painting reflects a shift in the state of being. A figure is seen crossing a bridge, the atmosphere is dark and the area seems forsaken.
"Paper cranes float on the water — they are symbolic, alluding to a Japanese legend that says if a thousand paper cranes are made a wish is granted.''
Maitha Huraiz, 19, who was influenced by different cultures, says her artistic freedom of expression is “struggling to comply with my highly conservative culture/religion''.
“My attachment to art began at an early age. My sister and I were always drawing on the walls of our house. I like to express my vision through photography or any other art form. At Elementa, I am exhibiting my photography. That part of me doesn't restrict my talent. It opens the horizon to explore.''
Huraiz says. “After graduation I intend to establish myself as a professional artist.''
‘Re-Source' is on at Elementa Gallery, Dubai, until March 5.
The hands that
- Hind Bint Demaithan
A final-year BA student at Zayed University, Demaithan specialises in art design, graphic design and photography.
She has participated in many exhibitions including ‘Train the trainer', ‘Collected visions', ‘Dubai Creek art fair' and ‘A Collective experience' in 2008.
- Moza Al Suwaidi
Al Suwaidi studied at the Sharjah Art Institute from 2001 to 2003. In 2004 she graduated from the Higher Colleges of Technology.
She became member of the UAE Photographic Society in 2005. She participated in the second and fourth national exhibitions in Abu Dhabi and took part in the ‘Bait Al Mawaheb' exhibition at the Dubai Trade Centre (2006).
In the same year she participated in the Fujairah Charitable Exhibition for Photography and the Muscat art exhibition in Oman. In 2007 Al Suwaidi participated in the Emirates photographers' exhibition at Abu Dhabi and a photography exhibition in Kuwait.
In 2008 she participated in ‘Season of Art' at DIFC, Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates Pavilion – Expo Zaragoza, in Spain.
- Lateefa Bint Maktoum
Maktoum studied at the Latifa School for Girls from 1996 to 2003. She completed her BA in Art and Design from Latifa College Campus - Zayed University, in 2007.
In 2005, Maktoum participated in ‘Art and Soul', at the XVA Gallery, Dubai. In 2006 she participated in ‘Perception' at the Third Line Gallery and won the Ibdaa Media Student Award for digital photography.
In 2008 she exhibited her collection in ‘No Such Place 2' group show at New York, DNC slideshow, Denver, Colorado, USA, among other shows.
In 2009 she participated in ‘Emirati Expressions' at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
- Maitha Huraiz
She is a Bachelor of Fine Arts student at Zayed University, Dubai. In 2007 she received an award at the Emirates photography competition.
In 2008, she participated in ‘Beyond Conventions' organised by the Elementa Gallery in Dubai.