Dubai: Dozens of artists from across the UAE have come together to highlight environmental sustainability through art with a plastic-free initiative this month.
Art4you Gallery, a multicultural platform in Dubai, has brought together more than 50 leading and emerging, local and international artists, for this special initiative with several events planned throughout the month.
“The Plastic-Free July initiative is a campaign that helps us find great alternatives that can become new habits forever,” said Jesno Jackson, co-founder of Art4you Gallery.
She said Art4you is the only art community from the UAE that is registered with the Australia-based Plastic Free July Foundation for this campaign in 2023.
The initiative includes an art exhibition, a live art session, a talk, a panel discussion and a social media campaign using the hashtag #plasticfreejuly.
The series of events started off with an “Eco-friendly Live Art” session at The Green Revolution on July 8. Fifteen UAE-based artists -of 11 nationalities painted eco-friendly live art on the theme “Beat Plastic through ART,” demonstrating that there is no barrier to creativity.
“This event was hosted in support of the sustainability partner – The Green Revolution- under the supervision of the founder and sustainability mentor Bhumika Maniyar at her Garden Boutique in Business Bay,” said JAckson.
The participating artists included Ghaya Al Ahbabi, UAE, Lene Pieters, South Africa, Tetiana Yatlo and Malek Elsakka, Ukraine, Nirmeen Hashim, Egypt, Meetu Garg, Kumar Chadayamangalam, Jesno Jackson, Manjari Vaibhava and Thauheeda Thameen, India, Reem Al Subae, Saudi Arabia, Dima Albitar, Syria, Alia Amin, Pakistan, Labiba Ferhat, Algeria, Yuliya Solomennaya, Belarus and Fatima Ghandour, Lebanon.
Maniyar, CEO and sustainability mentor, The Green Revolution commented: “We were pleased to welcome the artists to this eco event that reflects our commitment to realising Dubai’s Culture and Arts strategy and celebrating the vibrant arts scene. We were delighted to host this important event which will shed light on environmental sustainability.”
The second event in the series is “Plastic-Free Virtual Morning Tea” on July 11. It is a popular way of making and sharing tea and food, fun with conversations about plastic-free solutions. Art4you hosts this through a Zoom webinar inviting artists together with a cup of tea that is not served in plastic.
An art exhibition titled “Let’s Live with Less Plastic” has been planned on July 21. Curated by Jackson, this virtual art exhibition aims to shed light on environmental sustainability on the theme “Let’s Live with Less Plastic.” The exhibition comprises 30 stunning mixed media and sustainable artworks created by 20 UAE-based and international artists of 15 different nationalities, broadcasting at the 3D virtual space on the Art4you Gallery website. The artists used all types of materials for their paintings – from leaves, flowers, T-shirts, denim jeans, sticks, plastic, cardboard, recycled plastics, and broken mirrors – to create sustainable artworks, portraying their emotions and feelings toward the planet Earth.
“The artworks being presented at the virtual show will be available on social media platforms and online where we offer the opportunity to learn about environmental issues and how to live more sustainably with no plastic,” said Jackson.
Another event is “Ban Plastic Art Poster - #SmallStepsBigDifference - Dubai-based artists share more about their eco-conscious lifestyle and the inspiration behind the creation. “It is all about powering environmental activism through social media, by choosing to refuse single-use plastic through art,” said Jackson.
A panel discussion on tackling plastic through art is the last event planned. The panel discussion will be on: “What does sustainable living mean to you and can we live without single-use plastic.”
It will include a community of environmentalists, youth advocates, and artists, along with partners and supporters like Plastic Free Foundation and Women Leaders.
Rengi Cherian, co-founder, Art4you Gallery, said: “No step is insignificant when taken in the right direction, especially when it comes to making an impactful positive change to our environment and future generations. This initiative has paved the way for everyone to contribute and be mindful of their choices. Each step contributes substantially to sustainability for a greener future. At Art4you, our artists want to honour theEarth and the environment around us by expressing it through their creative art works.”