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

1 / 2
An example of Mariska Nell’s innovative work.
2 / 2
The artist uses used Nespresso pods in her art.
Updated 15 November 2018

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. 


Stars put on a show at the El Gouna Film Festival 

Updated 29 October 2020

Stars put on a show at the El Gouna Film Festival 

DUBAI: The fourth edition of the annual El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt, running until Oct. 31, has been a hot topic this week, with fans on social media discussing stars’ best and worst red carpet looks.

Here we have rounded up some of our favorite gowns from day five.  

Lekaa El-Khamissi 

The star wore a voluminous black dress by Egyptian couturier Osama Abdallah. (AFP)

The Egyptian actress, who started her acting career in the late 1990s, wore a voluminous black dress by Egyptian couturier Osama Abdallah. The strapless creation featured a transparent net-like pattern on the waist.  

She accessorized her look with dangling diamond earrings and a slicked-back hairstyle.  

Reem Samy 

The 25-year-old actress turned heads in a creamy white suit designed by Lebanese talent Basil Soda. (AFP)

The rising Egyptian talent has been building her name in the industry over the past few years, with her latest series “El-Prince” being among the most-watched Ramadan shows in 2020.  

The 25-year-old actress, sister of the director Mohammed Samy, turned heads in a creamy white suit designed by Lebanese talent Basil Soda. She wore a floor-trailing chiffon blouse, satin pants and a silver-cropped embroidered jacket. 

Mayssa Maghrebi 

Teh actress wore a fully-embellished ensemble by Kuwaiti designer Yousef Al-Jasmi. (AFP)

The Emirati-Moroccan actress stepped out in a fully-embellished ensemble by Kuwaiti designer Yousef Al-Jasmi. Sticking to COVID-19 safety precautions, Maghrebi wore a white mask to go with her form-fitting dress. 

The star started working her acting career in 2000. She acted in several Egyptian, Saudi, Kuwaiti, and Emirati television series.

Bushra 

The star wore a black off-the-shoulder lace dress by Lebanese designer Fouad Sarkis. (AFP)

The Egyptian actress and singer is the co-founder of the star-studded festival. 

The star wore a black off-the-shoulder lace dress, cinched at the waist, by Lebanese designer Fouad Sarkis.

Laila Eloui

The veteran Egyptian actress wore a gown by Lebanese designer Basil Soda. (AFP)

The veteran Egyptian actress opted for a vibrant pink satin gown by Lebanese designer Basil Soda. 

She started her career at the age of seven. Now, being in the industry for over 40 years, she has more than 70 movies under her belt.