The ninth edition of Tashkeel’s annual summer exhibition, Made in Tashkeel is showcasing works by 30 artists and designers who are associated with Tashkeel as members, instructors, or participants in workshops, art shows and residency programmes hosted by the art organisation this year. The artworks — ranging from paintings and photographs to screen prints and jewellery — have been created using the facilities available at Tashkeel.
“This show explores the depth and diversity of our art community’s practice. It reflects the unique mix of facilities and programmes available at Tashkeel, and the nurturing, collaborative environment we seek to provide. Made in Tashkeel 2018 is particularly special because Tashkeel is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year,” Lisa Ball-Lechgar, deputy director of Tashkeel says.
The centrepiece of the show is Lebanese artist Chafa Ghaddar’s beautiful fresco on wood titled, The Space of the Avacado Tree. The artist, who works from a studio at Tashkeel, studied this classical art form in Florence, Italy and loves the way a fresco matures and continues to transform through decay and degradation. “Through frescoes, I explore the manifestation of time on surfaces,” she says.
Dutch artist Elle Ford’s intriguing installation of carbonised fruits and bones is also about deterioration, decomposition and the process of penetrating the outward, recognisable form of an object to get to its inner essence.
Fashion designer Kay Li was inspired to use the heat press at Tashkeel to create her first textile artwork, Mushin, after watching Tashkeel’s designer-in residence Fay McCaul work with it. “Mushin is a Japanese Zen philosophy that describes a state of mind of non-attachment and acceptance of the changes in our lives. It has helped me to deal with rejections and failures in my own life. Through this intuitive abstract work with golden metallic foil heat-pressed on natural fabric I hope to evoke a feeling of calm and acceptance of oneself,” she says.
Turkish artist Banu Colak has also used textiles that she has embroidered, screen printed and washed with spices to create a set of works titled, Digging Through a Garden. “I want to depict the power of nature to heal and purify our souls and have taken inspiration from Islamic gardens, Arabian flora, natural medicines and healing recipes and the UAE’s landscape,” she says.
The show features thought-provoking photographic works such as Emirati Jalal Bin Thaneya’s monumental image of a scrapyard from his Wrecked series; Brazilian Fabiola Chiminazzo’s nostalgic, spiritual images produced using digital technology and the ancient process of heliography; John Marsland’s photographs of the desert that ask questions about the preservation of the environment and of culture; and Kim Robertson’s surreal exploration of time and space. Urban artist Myneandyours is showing photographic prints and archival material from a project themed around environmental awareness created by him for Dubai Design District that he developed at Tashkeel.
Emirati artist Hessa Al Ajmani has used Tashkeel’s inkjet and screen printing facilities to create a set of striking works on paper that all UAE residents can relate to. Titled These Working Hands, the artworks feature miniature construction machinery created with golden embossing powder placed on dark, enlarged images of the rough and weary hands of construction workers.
Engineer turned artist Fatima J. Atallah’s complex oil on linen painting, Falling Dreams, deals with contemporary issues of war, migration and exploitation. “This work was inspired by the War-Toy project that uses expressive art therapy to safely articulate children’s unseen accounts of war, and the work of photographer Brian McCarthy who uses locally found toys to recreate experiences of war from the perspective of children. The various elements in my composition talk about harsh realities, entrapment, abandoned homes, unread books, and children scarred and exhausted by endless trauma. But I have also included prayer beads to hold out hope for a solution to the problems,” she says.
Hadil Moufti has used the Hejazi moth as a symbol to address issues of migration and cultural identity in her mixed media work. Emirati Saaed Al Madani’s screen print also looks at how identities are impacted by the blurring of cultural borders due to globalisation.
Debjani Bhardwaj and Huma Shoaib have created paper cut works and Saher Nasser, Anjum Khan, Hamda Al Falasi, Manika Srivastav, Pamela Arent, Nasir Nasrallah, Elizabeth Dorazio and calligrapher Wissam Shawkat are showing paintings, drawings and collages.
The show also includes a rocking stool designed by Emirati Rasha Saffarini; an audiovisual montage celebrating female Arab singers by Hind Mezaina and Tulip Hazbar; Azza Al Qubaisi’s jewellery that combines oud wood with gold and diamonds; a copper and bronze sculpture by Stefano Bolliger; and an interesting installation featuring soaps from around the world by Tor Seidel. Ibraheem Khamayseh and Amal Al Gurg are presenting works created during Tashkeel’s Arabic Type Design courses held with the Khatt Foundation.
Also on display is a new range of commissioned Made in Tashkeel products including posters, laser cut toys, boxes, and cards created by Khamaysey, Nasser, Myneandyours, Shawkat, Tamsin Wildy, Salim Ahmed and Majid Al Yousef.
Made in Tashkeel 2018 will run at Tashkeel Studio and Gallery, Nad Al Sheba, until August 30.