Trash to treasure, Mariska Nell shows off at Dubai Design Week

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An example of Mariska Nell’s innovative work.
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The artist uses used Nespresso pods in her art.
Updated 15 November 2018
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Trash to treasure, Mariska Nell shows off at Dubai Design Week

  • Mariska didn’t focus only on creating art, but on educating people as well, on the sustainability aspect of turning trash to treasure

DUBAI: An interior designer from South Africa, Mariska Nell, has introduced her own style of art at this year’s Dubai Design Week, which will run from Nov. 13 to 17 in the Design District.
As an artist and environmentalist, she shared with Arab News her passion for creating art out of waste.
“It started at a really young age, when I spent time at my mother’s studio making arts and crafts from anything that I found around me,” she said.
The inspiration that kick-started Mariska’s trash-to-treasure career in Dubai were the Nespresso coffee capsules that she found too beautiful to throw away.
“Once you find something to create out of waste material and single-use items, you are giving things a second chance at life,” she said.
The artist then started collecting all the capsules she could get her hands on.
“I needed to purchase a lamp for my living room and the idea to create a lamp out of these pods came to life,” she said, introducing her first official art piece that was made out of 913 capsules.
This lamp will be part of her “Coffee Addiction” collection which is included in her exhibit “A Million Bottles Per Minute” at the design festival.
“Why would I want to paint a whole canvas if I can go for a different medium? This led me to experiment and incorporate trash with other forms of art, creating a whole new medium,” she said, talking about the ideas behind the pieces to be showcased at the exhibit.
As a South African living in Dubai, Mariska shared her opinion of art in the Arab world. “I’m excited about it ... There are so many unique elements like the history and calligraphy that makes art in the Arab world really stand out.”
Mariska didn’t focus only on creating art, but on educating people as well, on the sustainability aspect of turning trash to treasure.
“Just pick something that is easy to give up, whether it’s a water bottle that you would replace with a water filtering system in your house, and go from there,” she said, explaining how she started a zero-waste initiative in her home.
“I know that what I’m doing is a drop in the ocean, but hopefully with more people being educated about this concept, we can create a ripple of change.”

The artist's works for Dubai Design Week will also be showcased at the Rove Downtown's Sustainability Corner from November 13 to 16. 


The Six: Bollywood stars turn to Middle East designers

Priyanka Chopra at an event earlier this year. (AFP)
Updated 11 December 2018
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The Six: Bollywood stars turn to Middle East designers

DUBAI: Middle East-based fashion designers have been slaying the game recently, with more and more international stars stepping out in their creations. Bollywood is no exception, with these leading ladies spotted showcasing gowns from the region.

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra shone in a glittery, sequined rainbow halter-dress at the Bumble launch party in Mumbai on Dec. 7, courtesy of Lebanese designer Elie Saab.

Deepika Padukone
Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad created this stunning scarlet couture gown and veil for Deepika Padukone to wear at her recent wedding reception.

Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai turned heads at the Cannes Film Festival in May in a stunning, multi-hued butterfly-inspired gown from Dubai-based Michael Cinco.

Sonam Kapoor
The Bollywood star made an appearance on the popular Indian talk show “Koffee with Karan” wearing a custom-made feathered lavender gown by Lebanese designer Rami Kadi.

Shilpa Shetty
The actress partied at Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh’s wedding reception in a gorgeous, shimmering golden gown by Lebanon’s Reem Acra.

Shraddha Kapoor
At a party celebrating the success of her film, “Stree,” Shraddha Kapoor shut it down in an elegant, asymmetrical red dress by Reem Acra.