HIGHLIGHTS from Amal Kenawy’s ‘Frozen Memory,’ at Sharjah Art Foundation

"The Purple Artificial Forest" by Amal Kenawy. (Supplied)
Updated 18 December 2018
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HIGHLIGHTS from Amal Kenawy’s ‘Frozen Memory,’ at Sharjah Art Foundation

DUBAI: “Frozen Memory” by Amal Kenawy will be displayed at the Sharjah Art Foundation until Jan.19.

“The Room” (2004)
“Frozen Memory” is the first retrospective of the hugely influential Egyptian visual artist Amal Kenawy since her death in 2012. Kenawy’s work covered a range of media, including sculpture, video, writing, drawing, animation and performance. This piece, a blend of video and performance in which Kenawy sewed beads onto a beating heart, featured in her first solo exhibition.

“The Purple Artificial Forest” (2005)
A series of animated drawings in which Kenawy explored her anxiety dreams. She included initial sketches and notes for the creatures that appear in the final video, showcasing the development of the work, which, typically for the award-winning artist, drew on themes of insecurity and powerlessness.

“Stop — You Will Be Killed” (2006)
Beginning with photographs of the bare walls of a military hospital she visited, Kenawy’s animated film goes on to explore her thoughts and feelings following the visit. Again, her vision is nightmarish, as a rat begins to gnaw at a lifeless female body (the artist used herself as the model), making the violence of war explicit.

 


Calling all cat lovers: Dubai art gallery spotlights strays

Artist Angel-O takes to the streets of Dubai to photograph stray cats. Angel-O/FN Designs
Updated 23 March 2019
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Calling all cat lovers: Dubai art gallery spotlights strays

DUBAI: FN Designs, a gallery in Dubai’s artsy Alserkal Avenue, is spotlighting street cats in a new exhibition by artist-photographer Angel-O until April 30.

The multidisciplinary art and design studio chose to highlight the Filipino photographer’s work in a bid to raise awareness about the situation of strays in the UAE.

The exhibition opened in March with a panel discussion titled “Catnip.” The artist was joined by Nour Fakher, a vet at Blue Oasis Clinic, and Sara Abdelal, a cat rescuer in Dubai.

The artist started his journey when his landlord enforced a strict no-pet policy. Angel-O took to the streets to photograph stray cats in order to remain close to the animals.

Artist Angel-O takes to the streets of Dubai to photograph stray cats. Angel-O/FN Designs

“Most of these photos are taken in different parts of Dubai, in the nooks and crannies of streets,” he said, referring to his collection of photographs, which were taken in 2014 but shown for the first time in this show.

 “I am so glad my artwork is able to help these cats. I’ve had people come up and enquire about the location of the photograph so they could go back and help the cat in the picture,” he said.

 “I’m really relieved that people find this collection… of mine moving.”

Cat rescuer Abdelal stressed the importance of the TNR method of treating strays — trapping, neutering and releasing them.

“While we are trying to help find a safe home or habitat for the existing cats on our streets, let’s prevent their number from increasing. These animals can’t speak to us, we need to find a way to understand and help them,” she said.  

The UAE government has made moves to reduce the number of street cats through newly mandated animal welfare regulations that were handed down by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in December.

A failure to properly care for animals, including dumping pets, is now punishable by law in the country.