Don’t Let Me Sleep by Aleksandra Ogorkiewicz.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
When the Covid gets tough, the tough get Covid – in the sense, they beat the pandemic Many galleries and museums have indeed temporarily closed their doors – but are now going to permanently open them.
UAE-based Art4you Gallery is one which has kept its chin — or brush — up during these tough times Before you can say “virus”, it has offered patronage to artists, encouraged their creativity, accommodated their anxieties and displayed their works Their current offering is a Virtual Art Exhibition, itself part of its ongoing Online Art Fest 2020.
“Art brings us closer together”, says Jesno Jackson, Art4you Gallery co-founder and owner. “Art4you brings you the latest offerings in art from local and international artists It is a virtual art gallery, born out of self-isolation practices.”
Titled Creation in Isolation, Jackson, who is also curator, has launched what she calls the first outdoor and indoor virtual art exhibition in the world A two-fold approach of supporting and promoting artists was created, while artists are in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. The current show presents Black and White Art. “Black and White speaks strongly to us: we have always been a fan of the contrasting beauty of the opposite colours”, Jackson says. “The contrast created by combining black and white shades is powerful and dramatic.
“From the varied strips found in nature, to the nostalgic aura of black and white photographs and digital arts of a bygone era, the combination of light and darkness can have a riveting feel on viewers’ minds. “This virtual exhibition simulates a realistic tour, allowing viewers to take in the work of each artist and move from one gallery to the next by simply clicking and dragging the mouse to adjust their view, and using the direction keys on the keyboard for an enhanced experience.”
One may tour the virtual exhibition by clicking https://wwwartstepscom/view/5ebd6ebc57c6306dc7a0c5ca. “This virtual art exhibition keeps the art community in good spirits”, Jackson says. “The initiative reveals different art forms and provides an enriching experience. The exhibition brings together the emotional perspectives, stories, expressions and explorations of 50 isolated artists. “The show looks at how art and personal creative processes can help the human condition overcome challenges and also move others to connect with creativity.” The exhibition was virtually inaugurated by Chief Guest Yasser AlGergawi, Director of Programs and Partnerships, Ministry of Tolerance and Chairman of Dubai National Theatre, in the presence of the Guest of Honour, Ebrahim Al Juma, well-known Emirati lyricist, composer and chancellor of arts & folklore and Sultana Farooq Kazim, Representative of the Museum of Americas in the UAE and fashion designer.
Special guests included Peter Gressman, founder of artforumuae; Ahmed Rukni, artist; Corry Macdonald (Canada); Chitra Sudhakaran (India), Nada Al Barazi (Lebanon); Alessandra Giorda (Televisionario, Italy); Saju Nair and Anjini Laitu, artist. The main feature of the exhibition was the International Online Art Competition. The exhibition brought together more than 50 artists from the online art contest juried by Khalil Abdulwahid, Director of Visual Arts, Dubai Art and Culture and Dr Najat Makki, pioneer.
Emirati contemporary artist The top nine winners from of the black and white competition in two categories were Julius Cesar (Philippines), Vincee Stevens (Australia), Divya Amit (India), Vikram Gupta (India), Reinard Jansen (Philippines), Mohamed Gouraishy (Sudan/UAE), Divyasa Mishra (India), Dhan Prasad (India) and Bernard Geminiano (Philippines). The works of top finalists from 66 artworks are exhibited in the virtual art exhibition Rengi Cherian, co-founder of Art4you Gallery, says they have run this competition to raise awareness of the life people are facing during Covid-19, with a view to contributing to defeating the pandemic and to encourage Art in trying circumstances.
The E-Magazine, Creation in Isolation, a publication of Art4your Gallery, will be launched on June 30, with articles from writers, bloggers, artists and poets.
“The current show is a unique one and we were excited about the outcomes it has produced!” says Cherian. “We received applications from 300 plus artists, wanting to join in the black and white themed virtual show” The exhibition will be on till July 30.
Two studies by UNESCO and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) confirmed that museums (and in parallel, galleries) have been especially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It found that nearly 90 per cent of museums, or more than 85,000 institutions, closed their doors for varying lengths of time during the crisis. Furthermore, in Africa and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), only five per cent of museums were able to offer online content to their audiences. “Museums play a fundamental role in the resilience of societies. We must help them cope with this crisis and keep them in touch with their audiences,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay .“This pandemic also reminds us that half of humanity does not have access to digital technologies We must work to promote access to culture for everyone, especially the most vulnerable and isolated.”
Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) is one body that has worked hard to adjust to the times. For example, it has taken the opportunity to share moments of creativity and solidarity via its digital platforms. Beginning May 18 and ending July 31, SMA has invited all young artists, musicians and poets to share their artistic creations and be part of a unique digital exhibition titled. Diversity in Times of Adversity Young artists from around the world have submitted diverse artworks. The submissions varied from photography, digital design, paintings and poetry 17 artworks were selected to be part of this specially curated digital exhibition.
The UAE is joining the world today in celebrating the annual World book and Copyright Day on 23rd April, which was launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO.
Collage Talent Centre at Sharjah Ladies Club is encouraging female artists and photographers from all around the UAE to showcase their photographs, paintings and digital artworks at the third edition of its Noon Arts Award themed “After the Rain.”
The historical film “Khorfakkan 1507” has brought to life the epic resistance put up by Khorfakkan’s inhabitants during a ruthless Portuguese invasion over 500 years ago led by naval commander General Afonso de Albuquerque. For the first time in UAE cinema, this important piece of history has been adapted to screen, and is based on the book, Khorfakkan’s Resistance Against the Portuguese Invasion of September 1507, written by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
Southeast Asia’s Republic of the Philippines commemorates its 121st freedom from Spain this June 12 although its “full independence” as a free and sovereign country was granted by its second coloniser, the United States of America on July 4, 1946.
Bong is the first South Korean jury president of the festival.
The two music icons will headline an inauguration like no other, with security stepped up in Washington against threats by extremist supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump after they attacked the US Capitol last week.
Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi recently visited Dubai and posted a video on his Instagram handle speaking about the generosity of the Dubai airport officials.