Past and future meet in UAE-based trio’s ‘Beyond: Emerging Artists’ display

Past and future meet in UAE-based trio’s ‘Beyond: Emerging Artists’ display
“Beyond: Emerging Artists,” a section of the now-wrapped up Abu Dhabi Art fair features work by Hashel Al-Lamki.. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi Art
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Updated 28 November 2021

Past and future meet in UAE-based trio’s ‘Beyond: Emerging Artists’ display

Past and future meet in UAE-based trio’s ‘Beyond: Emerging Artists’ display

DUBAI: A woman dressed in black with a light blue colored sack over her head moves gracefully amidst a dark forest — she holds in either hand a branch with white feathers. The video work, executed in 2021 and titled “Too Close to the Sun,” is by Emirati artist Maitha Abdalla and it is on display in “Beyond: Emerging Artists,” which wraps up on Dec. 4 in Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al-Saadiyat.

The exhibition kicked off as part of the wider Abu Dhabi Art fair that ended Nov. 21. Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, “Beyond: Emerging Artists” explores the challenges of the future and painful reminders of the past while highlighting three UAE-based artists.

Alongside Abdalla's showcase are rooms featuring work by Emirati Hashel Al-Lamki and American Christopher Benton, who is based in Dubai.




A view of the room of Emirati artist Maitha Abdallah in Beyond: Emerging Artists, a section at this year's now concluded Abu Dhabi Art fair running until Dec. 4th. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi Art
 

Bardaouil and Fellrath told Arab News that the three artists’ strong links with Abu Dhabi allowed them to examine the city’s history and diversity, as well as its challenges and opportunities.

“Throughout our curatorial practice we have always been closely connected to the art scene in the Gulf region, and to the UAE in particular,” Bardaouil and Fellrath told Arab News. “Each of the three artists are either from Abu Dhabi or have been based here for a very long time. It was important to us that there is a strong connection to the city the works are exhibited in, to its history and diversity, as well as to its challenges and opportunities.”

The artists rely on media ranging from painting to sculpture, soundscapes, video works, found objects and site-specific installations.

The core focus of the program is on mentorship. Its aims thus venture outside the traditional role of a curator. “We wanted to work with artists where we felt we could contribute to the development of their practice,” said Bardaouil and Fellrath. “It was important to us to give each artist their own distinct voice and offer them the freedom and support to develop a project that they already had on their mind. Each of the three artists pushed their initial ideas to create truly immersive installations that are made up of different individual components.”

Abdalla’s commissions are part of a series of works that “negotiates the wild nature of women that social forces have often attempted to tame,” according to the artist.

In her room, Abdalla recreated US psychoanalyst Pinkola’s “wild creature” through her immersive installation. The visitor walks into an immersive space with a window that looks outdoors where there is a video of a performance where the performer, Abdalla, is attempting different poses of Pinkola’s “wild woman.”

“In my work, I am interested in storytelling and folk tales, and for this exhibition I was inspired by the book ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves,’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, an American psychoanalyst. She talks about how in every woman there is a wild creature and that this creature is powerful. She calls it wild woman and says this creature is an endangered species,” Abdalla said.

“Maitha’s work is amazing—from performances that revolve around notions of female wildness (characterized by a quasi-mythological woman, Sila) to sculptures and paintings that provoke thought and discussion around what’s considered right and wrong behavior and thought in communities,” Fair Director Dyala Nusseibeh told Arab News. “She reminds me in some ways of Paula Rego in the intensity of her paintings.”

Each room is conceived as an immersive space through which visitors can delve into each artist's work, practice and personal life. The walls and tiles of Abdalla’s room are painted pink, for example, to recall her childhood bathroom. As Nusseibeh says, “the ambitious claiming of each room” by the artists provides a unique portal into their world. 

 


 




Hashem Al-Lamki, Neptune. Courtsey of Abu Dhabi Art

 

Benton’s installation of a chained palm tree also fosters debate around labor economies and the appropriation of Middle Eastern culture in the US.




Christopher Joshua Benton, chained palm tree installation. Courtsey of Abu Dhabi Art

The artist’s film “The Kite Has Come” features archival images of Zanzibar from 1860-1910 — when the world’s last slave market operated in the city — and explores how slave histories in past centuries resonate in today’s world.

What profoundly resonates with the visitor even after they have left the room is how Benton’s work remembers the presence of the East African diaspora in the Gulf and the in-depth thought he has given to slave histories and how their stories over the last few centuries continue in today’s world.

Al-Lamki’s room on the other hand, entirely painted in a mystical soft blue, looks at the rapid pace of transformations shaping the UAE today, particularly evident in the building up of his hometown of Al-Ain.  

The artist, who founded the art group Bait 15 in a residential neighborhood in downtown Abu Dhabi, uses natural pigments collected from regional locations, referencing traditions that are under threat from new technologies and consumerism.

“The extravagance of the glitter and dyes in his paintings alongside the use of batteries, star stickers and popcorn in his sculpture, contribute to a sense of spectacle and futurism, but also a note of wistfulness for what is left behind,” Nusseibeh said.

What is so poignant about the works by each of the artists is that they go beyond of their formal, physical realm as art to tell the stories of their creators and the past and present histories of the world around them.

As an overall exhibition, the three rooms offer immersive solo shows covering each artist’s diverse practices within the context of their shared relationship to the UAE, its past and present histories and rapidly unfolding future.


French actor Gaspard Ulliel, 37, dies after ski accident

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, 37, dies after ski accident
Updated 58 min 24 sec ago

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, 37, dies after ski accident

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, 37, dies after ski accident
  • While skiing Tuesday afternoon at La Rosière resort, Ulliel collided with another skier on an intermediate slope after turning left
  • Ulliel was “motionless and unconscious when rescuers arrived,” while the other skier was unharmed

LYON, France: French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for appearing in Chanel perfume ads as well as film and television roles, died Wednesday after a skiing accident in the Alps, local authorities said. He was 37.
Ulliel portrayed the young Hannibal Lecter in 2007's “Hannibal Rising” and fashion mogul Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic “Saint Laurent.” He is also in the upcoming Marvel series “Moon Knight,” and was the advertising face of the Chanel men’s fragrance Bleu de Chanel.
While skiing Tuesday afternoon at La Rosière resort, Ulliel collided with another skier on an intermediate slope after turning left, presumably to join his friends on an adjoining slope, Anne Gaches, the Savoie prosecutor in Albertville, said in a statement Wednesday.
Preliminary findings from an investigation indicated that "both skiers fell to the ground after the collision," the prosecutor said. Ulliel was “motionless and unconscious when rescuers arrived,” while the other skier was unharmed, Gaches said.
The prosecutor’s statement did not mention whether either skier was wearing a helmet.
Ulliel was transported by helicopter to Grenoble University Hospital, where doctors tried to revive him, she said. The actor was pronounced dead Wednesday shortly after 4 p.m., Gaches said.
The office of the actor's agent confirmed that Ulliel died on Wednesday.
Ulliel started in television while still in middle school and went on to win two of France's top cinema awards, the Cesar.
Tributes poured in from both shocked fans and the corridors of power. French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted an homage that said, “Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They loved each other madly."
French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin said she was deeply saddened by Ulliel's death, describing the actor as “a child prodigy of cinema, who embodied perfectly the French style all over the world.”
The House of Chanel said in a statement it has lost its “ambassador of 12 years and a friend.”
“We have been fortunate to have had by our side all these years a person endowed with great culture, an immense talent, and of unparalleled kindness. He will be sorely missed,” Chanel said.
The accident conjured up memories of when Formula One great Michael Schumacher was seriously injured in a 2013 skiing accident in the French ski resort of Meribel, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from where Ulliel was skiing. Both were treated at Grenoble University Hospital.
Schumacher suffered serious head injuries when he fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock off the side of a demarcated slope. The German auto racing legend was skiing with his teenage son while on a family vacation in the Alps.
Schumacher, 53, has not been seen in public in eight years, and his family has revealed few details of his condition since the accident. His wife, Corinna, said in a Netflix documentary last year that her husband is “different, but he is here” and that the family, including the couple's son, Mick, now a Formula One driver himself, cares for him.
After Ulliel's accident, the mountain police service for the Rosiere ski area said its personnel have been carrying out five or six rescues per day as the snow hardened in recent days.
In the neighboring Haute-Savoie region, a 5-year-old girl was killed Saturday when a skier crashed into her. The man was handed preliminary manslaughter charges, according to the Haute-Savoie prosecutor, who cited excessive speed as the likely reason for the accident.


Asti Symphony Orchestra heads to AlUla to perform with Andrea Bocelli

Asti Symphony Orchestra heads to AlUla to perform with Andrea Bocelli
Updated 19 January 2022

Asti Symphony Orchestra heads to AlUla to perform with Andrea Bocelli

Asti Symphony Orchestra heads to AlUla to perform with Andrea Bocelli
  • Orchestra president: ‘Playing in AlUla is an honor for us. It will be an unforgettable experience’
  • It is the world-renowned tenor’s fourth performance at the UNESCO World Heritage Site

ROME: The musicians of the Asti Symphony Orchestra have said they are honored to be playing at the Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla on Friday with Andrea Bocelli, the world’s most popular living tenor.

The concert, which has long been sold out, will be Bocelli’s fourth performance in AlUla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It will be streamed on the tenor’s YouTube channel.

The 130 musicians who will play with Bocelli in AlUla flew out on Wednesday from the Italian city of Turin.

“We have often been called to accompany Maestro Bocelli,” Enrico Bellati, president of the Asti Symphony Orchestra, told Italian daily La Stampa. “Playing in AlUla is an honor for us. It will be another unforgettable experience.”

The concert will be an evening of opera and pop, and will include Bocelli’s greatest hits such as the famous aria “Nessun Dorma.”

Founded in 2014, the orchestra is based in Meta, a small town in the Italian region of Piedmont.


British entrepreneur Dr. Tara Lalvani reveals how her game-changing beauty tool came to be

British entrepreneur Dr. Tara Lalvani reveals how her game-changing beauty tool came to be
Updated 19 January 2022

British entrepreneur Dr. Tara Lalvani reveals how her game-changing beauty tool came to be

British entrepreneur Dr. Tara Lalvani reveals how her game-changing beauty tool came to be

DUBAI: If you can’t find it, make it! So goes the philosophy behind many brands, including Beautifect. The new beauty line based in London is known for its revolutionary Beautifect box, a tech-enabled device for applying, storing and carrying makeup.

The idea behind the Beautifect box came to British founder Dr. Tara Lalvani four and a half years ago while on the plane. “I was on my way to Dubai, and I just got the kids to finally sleep. I was thinking about the day ahead, about the hotel, about how poor the lighting was going to be and how I would get ready while managing my kids, and that’s when the idea of Beautifect occurred to me,” she told Arab News.

The Beautifect Box is a chargable beauty device for applying, carrying and storing makeup. 

A dental surgeon, Dr. Lalvani had no plans to launch her own business. In fact, before she had the idea to create the Beautifect box, she had her mind set on purchasing a product that could serve as a portable dressing table when she realized such a thing didn’t exist. “How could something so obvious not be already out there?” she proclaimed.

“Before I even landed, I decided that if it was out there, I was going to buy it. If it wasn’t, then I was going to create it because it would help every woman in the same position. I couldn’t believe that in this day and age, we were still struggling to get the right lighting and still being tied down to one place. And that’s really when the whole idea was born,” she explained.

What makes the product so special is the lighting, which took Dr. Lalvani over two years to perfect. The Beautifect box features five different lighting options that simulate different lighting environments so women can do their makeup more accurately. “Lighting completely changes the look of your makeup. There is no better lighting for makeup on the market than the Beautifect light,” shared the entrepreneur.

The portable device bills itself as the beauty equivalent to a laptop. 

The beauty equivalent of a laptop, the added benefit of the chargeable Beautifect box is that it allows women to do their makeup anywhere, whether they are in the back of an Uber on their way to a meeting or lounging on the sofa before dinner plans. A single charge lasts up to a month, and in an age when women are busier than ever, juggling careers and motherhood, the Beautifect box is quite revolutionary.

“We have such busy lives now. How can we still be doing our makeup the same way we’ve been doing it for generations? With Beautifect, you can do it on your schedule. You no longer have to sit at a dressing table in a separate room for something that you do every day,” shared Dr. Lalvani.

After launching Beautifect, the entrepreneur realized that dentistry was never really her passion. “All my life, I’ve always been a massive beauty lover, but after training for six years to be a dentist and practicing for over a decade in London, I didn’t imagine I would do anything else,” she recalled. Her profession as a dentist, however, did heavily inform the creative process of her brand. “After I launched, a friend of mine pointed out that the way I designed the storage in the Beautifect box reminded them of a dental tray,” she mused.

The chargeable Beautifect box is that it allows women to do their makeup anywhere.

Despite launching in the middle of a global pandemic, Beautifect was an instant hit when it landed on shelves at Harrods and online on Ounass and Dr. Lalvani’s own website. The entrepreneur attributes some of the success to the rise of social media platforms like TikTok during the pandemic. “We live in a time in which makeup isn’t necessarily just for going out. I designed the product around the social media age. We need to be able to film content, take selfies,” explained Dr. Lalvani.

Today, the Beautifect line boasts a beauty blender, Mulberry silk eye mask, crystal nail file, vanity bag and tote.

With an oversaturation of eyeshadow palettes, foundations and lipsticks on the market, Dr. Lalvani reveals she wants to focus her brand on beauty tools and devices. “Cosmetic brands are focused on makeup and when it comes to tools, they’re almost an afterthought,” she shared. “Our focus is on creating the best tools in their categories.”

You can shop the products on Beautifect.com. 


The top interior design trends of 2022 revealed

The top interior design trends of 2022 revealed
Updated 19 January 2022

The top interior design trends of 2022 revealed

The top interior design trends of 2022 revealed

DUBAI: A fresh year could prompt you to hit the refresh button on your living space. To give your interiors a facelift that mirrors your personal style, Saudi Arabia-based interiors brand Aura Living has shared the top design trends for 2022.

Comfortable rooms, flexible spaces

As we spend more time at home, we are moving away from rigid structures and formal living spaces and seeing a more open approach toward spaces that are welcoming and adaptive. Lounge areas and family rooms have become an individual’s main priority. But that doesn’t mean what is functional can’t be aesthetically chic — the key is to create the perfect balance between elegance and practicality. Take the Morzine sofa from Aura’s Fall 2021 line for instance. With practicality in mind, this modular sofa is designed to offer flexibility to design layouts, making a space equal parts comfy and elegant.

Morzine Sectional Sofa. Supplied

Vibrant hues

Paint trends will fall into two distinct camps this year: Earthy, organic shades and vibrant, energizing hues, which were popular in the 1950s. However, that does not necessarily mean that you need to invade your house with painterly pops. Rather, add vibrant shades of color where you feel suitable. Start with a neutral color palette as this will help you incorporate color easily and switch it up from time to time.

Supplied

Curves

Sculptural furnishing and feminine shapes are rapidly finding their way into sanctuaries this season. From curved sofas, to dining chairs, beds and cabinets, the options are endless. Arches, angled edges and wavy design accessories are all present within Aura’s Fall 2021 collection. You can opt for side chairs or single-seated sofas such as Aura’s Lezoux chair in soft pink, or the Joy chair in cobalt blue.

Supplied

Texture

Even the most basic neutral palettes can feel layered and exceptional when lots of different textures are incorporated. In the coming year, mastering that mix is going to be paramount. The easiest way to add texture into your decor is through fabrics and textiles. Start with smaller items, such as cushions, rugs and throws, that can be easily moved around or replaced should you want a quick interior update in the future. 

 


US actor Mahershala Ali nominated for NAACP Image Award

US actor Mahershala Ali nominated for NAACP Image Award
Updated 19 January 2022

US actor Mahershala Ali nominated for NAACP Image Award

US actor Mahershala Ali nominated for NAACP Image Award

 

DUBAI: US actor Mahershala Ali, who is Muslim, has been nominated in the best actor category at this month’s NAACP Image Awards, organizers announced this week.

The Oscar and Emmy winner will compete against LaKeith Stanfield, Denzel Washington, Jonathon Majors and Will Smith.

Meanwhile, Netflix emerged with a leading 52 nominations, including for the film “The Harder They Fall.” The movie — featuring a star-studded cast including Regina King, Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba and Stanfield — pulled in 12 nominations, including for best picture. 

Issa Rae’s “Insecure” earned 13 nominations, including best comedy television series. 

The nominees for best actress in a film are Andra Day, Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Tessa Thompson and Zendaya.

The two-hour awards show, hosted by Anthony Anderson, will be broadcast on Feb. 26.