In Focus: The Art Dubai AiR 2014 Artists
Meet the 'Artists in Residence'
Now in its 4th year, the 'Artists-in-Residence' (AiR) Dubai concept by Tashkeel the Delfina Foundation, Dubai Culture and Art Dubai – welcomes five artists from the Middle East and Asia, plus one curator-in-residence, for an exciting initiative. The results are displayed at the Open Studios Exhibition in the historical Al Fahidi district – cited as the cultural nerve-centre of the city – until the end of this month.
A brainchild of the association between the four authorities, AiR enables the chosen artists to work together with Dubai's heritage as a common guiding thread for their works in progress. It aims to support artists by providing a platform to develop their practice and create new work, while facilitating exchange between the artists, the local communities, and the broader cultural landscape.
Also as a new step in the in 2014 proceedings, AiR Dubai will offer practitioners the opportunity to engage with the resident artists and local arts scene through short-term, multidisciplinary residencies. Buro 24/7 Middle East introduces the six names to know:
The AiR Artists
Nadia Ayari currently lives in New York, USA. She received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Ayari has had solo shows at The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2013); Monya Rowe Gallery, New York, USA (2011). She has participated in many group exhibitions - at the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece (2013); and the West Windsor Art Center, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA (2012). Her works can be found in collections of the State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece; and the Saatchi Collection, London, England. Ayari has been awarded fellowships at Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, USA (2009); and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Madison, USA (2006).
Maryam Al Qassimi lives and works in the emirate of Sharjah. She graduated from the American University of Sharjah. Her work references various imagery and material found in the local community. It is a continuous exploration of the beauty of the vernacular of the United Arab Emirates, and how its interchange of language and societies has helped shape its local "pop culture." Through her work, Al Qassimi tries to revive the nostalgia associated with this vernacular, along with the appreciation for the materiality, and tactility that has disappeared with the introduction of the digital age.
Maryam Al Qassimi marries tradition with the contemporary
Sunoj D moved to Bangalore from Kerala to study at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat (2003). He obtained MFA from Bangalore University (2006). His recent work is inspired by his move from a village to a city, from a house surrounded by paddy fields to an apartment. Sunoj D has had solo shows at the National Museum of Natural History, New Delhi, India (2012); and at the Grosvenor Vadehra, London, UK (2009). He has participated in several shows including the Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi, India (2013); Visversvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, Bangalore, India (2013).
The 'Urban Farmland' project by Sunoj D
Maitha Demithan on Instagram
Maitha Demithan lives and works in Dubai. She studies photography, digital scans, painting, drawing and photo transfers. Demithan has exhibited at Tashkeel, Dubai, UAE (2009); the Brisbane Biennial, Brisbane, Australia (2009); the UAE Pavilion, Shanghai Expo, Shanghai, China (2010); Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, UAE (2011).
'Self Portrait' by Sara Al Haddad
Sara Al Haddad received her BFA in graphic design from the American University in Dubai, Dubai, UAE (2011) – and works predominantly with yarn to create art pieces. She was shortlisted for the Sheikha Manal Young Artists Award (2011). Al Haddad's solo exhibitions include Bursting at the Seams (2012), The Pavilion, Dubai, UAE; and I know, I knew (2013) DUCTAC, Dubai, UAE. She has participated in group exhibitions including at Festival Internacional de Videoarte, Camaguey, Cuba; HYBRID IDENTITIES, International Artexpo, Edinburgh, UK; and SIKKA Art Fair, Dubai, UAE (2013).
About the AiR Curator
İpek Ulusoy Akgül – Hailing from Istanbul, Akgül previously served as the curatorial associate at Borusan Contemporary in the city (2012-2013), where she coordinated new media exhibitions and commissions. She has worked at various museums and arts organisations such as The Whitney Museum of American Art (2009-2010) and Independent Curators International (ICI) (2010) in New York, as well as the 9th and 10th Istanbul Biennials, Sakip Sabanci Museum (2005-2007), and Galeri Mana (2011-2012) in Istanbul.