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A creation by Ayesha Hadhir, Rawdha Al Ketbi and Sheikha Al Ketbi. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: This year’s Abu Dhabi Art will return to Manarat Al Saadiyat in physical format and will run for three days, from November 18 to 21. The 2021 edition will also capitalise on the success of last year’s virtual innovations by continuing to have a strong digital presence through a number of online initiatives.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said: “Abu Dhabi Art is a platform for cultural connectivity, bringing together artists, galleries, institutions and art professionals and fostering creativity by connecting them. While the last year brought up many challenges and issues for the art world, it also brought forth opportunities to innovate. This pandemic has shown us that our way forward is through collaboration, adaptation and innovation.”

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Rawdha Al Ketbi with Cuprum. Image Credit: Supplied

He further said: “Abu Dhabi Art has adapted swiftly to the challenges facing the art ecosystem during the pandemic and will contribute to cultural growth and to the art market in the UAE with renewed vigour this year. We look forward to welcoming visitors and the community back to the fair this November.”

Abu Dhabi Art is held under the patronage of Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, DCT Abu Dhabi. This year, Abu Dhabi Art will also be showcasing several new commissioned installations at various locations across Abu Dhabi. The art-driven experiences will stretch from Liwa and Al Ain to the city centre of Abu Dhabi and will be in part a natural extension of the fair’s Beyond: Artist Commissions programme, which was launched in 2017 and which brings site-specific works to world heritage sites in Al Ain each year.

Featured Emirati artists

Abu Dhabi Art has been working closely with commissioned artists on their new works, as well as with DCT Abu Dhabi, to create eco-driven experiences in these unique locations.

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Sheikha Al Ketbi with Al Ukhra. Image Credit: Supplied

Each year, the fair collaborates with artists to create its visual campaign. This year, it will feature works by Emirati artists Ayesha Hadhir, Rawdha Khalifa Al Ketbi and Shaikha Fahad Al Ketbi, which were first created as part of Beyond: Emerging Artists in 2019. In these works, they jointly explore the idea of transformation in different environments — from seascapes and the desert, to abandoned cityscapes.

Guest artists and curators for 2021 will be announced in the coming months, along with further details on the emirate-wide programme for the fair. Applications are now open for galleries to exhibit their offerings at the 13th edition of the fair this November.

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Guest-safety protocols

Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi is one of the safest places in the world to visit in 2021, and we are excited to announce that we will be welcoming visitors to our programme at Manarat Al Saadiyat at the end of the year, and we will be adhering to all necessary health and safety regulations. Abu Dhabi Art is now an important date on the global cultural calendar and a key initiative that reflects Abu Dhabi as a culturally active and artistically conscious city.”