Students from Repton School, Dubai and Manzil Cenre, Sharjah.
Students from Repton School, Dubai and Manzil Cenre, Sharjah. Image Credit: Supplied

Pupils from Repton School Dubai and Manzil, one of the renowned non-profit centers focusing on social inclusion of people of determination, joined hands to create an art project on the theme of sustainability. The resulting collaborative pieces were displayed at two high-profile art showcases - DIFC Art Nights on March 18 and World Art Dubai from April 3-6. Students from both schools share the experiences of working together to create lasting impressions.

Zikra, Manzil Centre, Sharjah, UAE

Zikra with the abstract image of a pink flower that she created. Image Credit: Supplied

‘Art helps me relax and enjoy my free-time’

Art is my favourite subject, I enjoy playing with colours, and hence, I was very thrilled about working with the students at Repton School on an art project.

This also gave me an opportunity to make new friends over a paintbrush. Art is my passion. I enjoy creating colourful floral images, sceneries and landscapes, and it helps me relax and enjoy my free-time.

So on a Tuesday afternoon, we arrived at Repton School, where we were introduced to our partners. It was such a warm welcome from both students and teachers at Repton. My partner was Nathaniel and together, we worked to create an abstract image of a richly pink flower – pink happens to be my favourite colour!

Our supervisor, Mr. Sparks from Repton School, was extremely patient with us and gave us complete freedom to explore our imagination.

We also tried ‘Block Painting’, an interesting technique using stencils, blocks and paint to create fascinating prints – this was new to me and I was excited to try this by myself at home. For the stamping, guess what we used? A paper made of recycled elephant dung. I found this interesting and informative. I guess the lesson was also about the importance of recycling and reusing.

I had a great time creating, painting, learning and meeting some wonderful people. Our paintings were also displayed at two of Dubai’s iconic art exhibitions – DIFC Arts Nights and World Art Dubai. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my teachers and friends Manzil as well as all staff and pupils at Repton – I hope we get an opportunity to work together again.

Mohammed Chandra, Manzil Centre, Sharjah

Mohammed Chandra depicting autumn using Block Stamping.

‘Feathers are delicate and beautiful objects’

I met some wonderful people for the art project at Repton School.

I paired up with Connor, who was fun, kind and so creative. We decided to ‘divide and conquer’ for the best results, so while he applied paint on the stamps, I made patterns on the paper. With the teachers’ guidance and ideas, Connor and I were able to create a spectacular image without much hassle.

I chose to do a peacock feather because I love birds and animals. Also, because I think feathers are delicate and beautiful objects that remind me of the lush green nature back home. I even thought to myself, if I place many feathers over my head, I will look like a Red-Indian chief; I like to imagine myself as a Red-Indian chief.

For the second activity, ‘Block Stamping’, we used white colour foam boards to stamp different patterns – my partner and I decided to overlap different shapes of leaves in red, orange and yellow hues to depict the autumn – autumn is my favorite season and I thought my painting was very visually pleasing and colourful.

I would like to extend my gratitude to the entire team behind this project and giving us a platform to showcase our interests and skills and a special thanks to my partner.

Repton was the biggest school that I have ever visited, but to me, Manzil will always be the best.

Hana Duce, Grade 11, Repton School, Dubai

Hana (right) and Sophie with Maaz Mohsin from Manzil Centre, who is displaying their artwork.

‘What an amazing opportunity I had!’

I was given the chance to collaborate with children from Manzil and create a work of art. I was paired up with a wonderful boy from the Manzil Centre and during the workshop, I was also joined by my friend Sophie from Repton School and we were challenged to create a piece of artwork together. I learned many new things while working on the project that helped me see how the people at Manzil see life and art. It was also a marvelous opportunity to work in pairs to create one artpiece, teaching us the value of collaboration and cohesion that help us towards an incredible outcome.

I feel very privileged to have been able to help the amazing students from Manzil and hope there are more co-operative efforts between schools to create more than just art. This was an experience I will always remember.

Arhaan Jain, Grade 11, Repton School, Dubai

Arhaan Jain enjoyed printing designs on recycled paper from Sri Lanka.

‘Nothing is wrong in art’

It was 12.30pm and the students from Manzil Centre in Sharjah had arrived at Repton. I was so excited to take part in this workshop Manzil. Moments later, I was with my partner from Manzil called Rumaisa, who is from India. Kay Bathke, Head of Creative Arts at Repton, explained to us the activities of the day - Printing and making nature designs using the special recycled paper from Sri Lanka and drawing Elephants also using recycled paper, under the theme of Sustainability.

My favourite part of the workshop was the painting me and Rumaisa had to do of a peacock feather. We got down to the task and soon, a gust of wind blew our painting on to the floor. I was about to give up on the half-done artwork and start again but Rumaisa taught me how to fix the problem and said,”Nothing is wrong in art” and it made me realise how true that is. After that, we had the option of drawing and colouring the work and what we produced was excellent.

We learnt a lot from the children of Manzil. We learnt how to enjoy and respect every luxury we have and welearnt how to make the most of all the opportunities that come our way in life. Thank you for this insightful experience.

This is Arhaan Jain from Repton signing off ...