Giant flamingos? Art Nights event showcases wild creativity of regional artists

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Art Nights at the Gate Village in Dubai. (Arab News)
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Various art pieces were displayed during the night. (Arab News)
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It was organized by the Dubai International Financial Center. (Arab News)
Updated 20 March 2019

Giant flamingos? Art Nights event showcases wild creativity of regional artists

  • The Art Nights took place at Gate Village in Dubai
  • It was organized by the Organized by the Dubai International Financial Center

DUBAI: A showcase of regional artistic talent went on display at a bi-annual community event in the UAE.
Art Nights, held on Tuesday at Gate Village, in Dubai, included gigantic installations of pink flamingos, quirky sculptures, photographs portraying Dubai heritage, and examples of the latest technological developments on the art scene.

Organized by the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Art Nights boasted a variety of works from local and international artists “rarely seen by the public.”
A DIFC statement said: “The plethora of local artists participating in DIFC Art Nights is a testament to the established and burgeoning talent the region has cultivated.”
The event was staged at DIFC’s ritzy complex on Sheikh Zayed Road and stand-out pieces included Alicia Eggert’s playful use of lights and words to depict “the relationship of language, time, and image.”
Some of the artists were on hand to chat with visitors. Emirati visual artist Rawdha Al-Ketbi was displaying a rusted and broken “time capsule” which she had found in Abu Dhabi and manipulated to look even more antiquated.
“As an artist, I usually go to abandoned places and collect objects. I sometimes find personal belongings, and photographs of the people who used to live there,” Al-Ketbi said.
The event also included a government social enterprise initiative that showcased hand-knotted Afghan carpets, while art start-up venture Lemink displayed a digital frame that projects iconic paintings.


Emirati photographer finds that lockdowns have a silver lining

The photographer enjoys capturing industrial facilities and ghostly landscapes. (Tashkeel)
Updated 29 May 2020

Emirati photographer finds that lockdowns have a silver lining

DUBAI: The COVID-19 lockdowns may have cancelled festivals and closed down museums around the world, but some artists have continued to thrive.  

Emirati photographer Jalal Bin Thaneya told Arab News that in his field the pandemic has only slowed down artistic photography.

“Some documentary and news photographers are still able to work, especially those employed by organizations and governments fighting the virus,” Thaneya said. “Documenting and getting images of what is happening on the ground is extremely important.”

“Photography records moments,” the artist said. “In World War II, (the American photographer) Margaret Bourke-White was actively taking pictures and she has been a big influence on me.”

This, he believes, is an example of how photography and art have flourished during difficult times.

Despite the delays the lockdown has imposed on Thaneya’s projects, he says he now has got more time to work on his unpublished pictures. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rims 02, 120x160 cm, 2018 / #industry #beyondthefence

A post shared by Jalal Bin Thaneya (@binthaneya) on

“Priorities have shifted overnight. I have many images I made that I never showed which I’m currently compiling. The lockdown has given me time to organize myself and prepare for future projects,” he said. 

The self-taught artist, who enjoys capturing industrial facilities and ghostly landscapes, said: “What I do is very niche and not widely appreciated in the region.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Valves / #industry #industrial_landscapes

A post shared by Jalal Bin Thaneya (@binthaneya) on

He discovered his passion by “accident” in 2013. “I saw old architecture being demolished at the Jabal Ali port and it is from that point that I started taking pictures of abandoned spaces before focusing on industrial landscapes and artefacts from 2016 to date.”

Thaneya believes that many people look down on his job. “However, if I listened to what people said, I would’ve stopped many years ago,” he added. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Raw material feeder and cement silos. // #Industry #Industrial_Dubai

A post shared by Jalal Bin Thaneya (@binthaneya) on

“You’ve got to follow your intuition and do things that give you purpose. Listening and following the crowd will only dilute your character and individual essence,” he advised other photographers who wish to pursue this career. 

“We cannot allow others to do the thinking for us, we need to be clear and focused on what we would like to achieve,” Thaneya said.