Art enthusiasts during The Year of Zayed Art Exhibition at the Saint Regis Hotel, Dubai. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: To commemorate the legacy of Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ‘The Year of Zayed Art Exhibition’ opened its doors on Tuesday at the St. Regis Hotel near Business Bay, Dubai.

The two-month exhibition, which is being organised by St Regis Dubai in collaboration with Sulty Events and Entertainment, will feature 15 artists from eight countries.

More than 10 of the participating artists are from Al Falasi Artz, an association that supports upcoming artists in the UAE.

Artist Sonu Sultania from India, "A Spiritual Bliss" mixed media on canvas. Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Ahmad Al Falasi, founder of Al Falasi Artz, said around 16 art pieces from the association will be displayed at the exhibition.

“The pieces chosen represent the artists’ best version of themselves and their feelings and expressions when they’re at their best,” he told Gulf News.

Curator of the exhibition Bhairavi Mistry said a total of 31 artworks will be showcased at the exhibition.

The artworks are of different mediums and styles including abstract, calligraphy, resin work, mixed media Sufi work, expressive portraits, nightlife, hyper-realistic, charcoal work, seascapes, Dubai heritage, Indian style, and mosaic ceramic work.

“We feel the Year of Zayed is all about believing in yourself to achieve great heights, just as Shaikh Zayed believed in himself. Based on that, the exhibition aims to bring out the best version of each artist. Each artwork depicts a story behind it, which can include the artist’s emotions, feelings, passion, creativity, style, and techniques,” explained Mistry.

Among the participating artists is British national Chris Robb. The Dubai resident said her paintings are “a celebration and a manifestation of positivity and happiness”.

Artist Chris Robb from UK, "The Hunt" acrylic canvas 2016. Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

”My use of colour reflects not only my mood and general demeanour, but my appreciation for the wonderful experiences and life I have in the UAE. Each art piece is hand drawn, and my pigments mostly hand mixed to achieve the depth and vibrancy that is so important to me,” said Robb.

She pointed out that Dubai and the UAE is filled with breathtaking architecture as well as subjects that have inspired her art. These include images of the desert, palm trees, buildings, mosques, dhows, camels, plants, animals, fish and even people around the city.

Her collection of paintings at the exhibition reflects iconic images that represent the UAE such as hawks, horses, Burj Khalifa and the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

“As I journey through each painting, I do so with a smile on my face, I hope my art has the same uplifting effect on those who view them,” added Robb.

Another artist, Mohamad Nishan, and wife Mahsa Jasfaazadeh from Iran are also participating in the exhibition by showcasing six art pieces.

“We are delighted to have six of our artworks with Persian influence. We hope that the audience find our art inspirational,” said Jasfaazadeh.

Her husband’s collection ranges from paintings of horses and ships to Arabic calligraphy using mixed media. The duo have been living in Dubai for over 14 years and are the founders of Mahsa Art Gallery.

The exhibition will take place until September 24.