Abu Dhabi: Manarat Al Saadiyat, the cultural epicenter of Abu Dhabi, has inaugurated two new art exhibitions as part of its end-of-year programme. These exhibitions, aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of sustainability in art and exploring the artistic dimensions of streetwear, are set to engage visitors in a unique cultural discourse.
The showcase features the works of 15 artists, including 11 local talents, who employ a variety of materials to represent their natural surroundings. Through a blend of photographs and art installations, “Rooted” invites viewers to contemplate the intricate relationship between art and nature.
Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi’s “Dome Path,” inspired by palm tree branches and integrated with stainless steel, reflects a deep connection to the UAE’s past. “I use the palm branches, a material that once defined our pre-oil era existence; I pay homage to our cultural heritage, which remains an integral part of our historical fabric,” says Al Qubaisi, emphasizing the significance of her work.
Photographer and anthropologist Noora Al Neyadi’s ethnographic expedition through Chad and southern Libya is also highlighted, providing a photographic report on diverse communities and their connections with their environments.
Ali bin Thalith’s underwater photography brings to light the hidden beauty of oceanic habitats, emphasizing the importance of environmental conservation.
The exhibition also includes a special segment curated by Nezar Andary on Chris Jordan’s work, including his 2017 film “Albatross,” and a collaboration with the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi, featuring three winners from the “Capturing the Invisible” photo competition.
The second exhibition, “Design Dispatch: Poster T-shirt,” curated by Mobius Design Studio and running until 23 February 2024, explores streetwear as a canvas for artistic expression.
The exhibition pays tribute to the late Egyptian artist Mohieddine Ellabbad and his visionary publication “The Illustrator’s Notebook: The Power of the T-Shirt.” It showcases how t-shirts serve as a medium for advocacy, communication, and social commentary.
This exhibition brings together 20 local and regional designers, who have used t-shirts to express their unique artistic visions. Among the featured works is Baghdad-based calligrapher and type designer Hussein Khalifa’s piece, inspired by a Fairouz song, and Emirati designer Amna Al Saleh’s illustration celebrating the UAE’s native plants.
Manarat Al Saadiyat welcomes visitors to these compelling exhibitions, open daily from 10 am to 8 pm. More information can be found on their website, manaratalsaadiyat.ae, offering an enriching experience to art enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike. These exhibitions underscore the center’s commitment to using art as a tool for public education and cultural enrichment.