Project Art to serve as talent incubator for UAE art community - GulfToday

Project Art to serve as talent incubator for UAE art community

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The Deira Clock Tower is recognisable in this work titled Sign Of Times.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens, has unveiled its plans for Project Art, a new initiative designed to empower Dubai’s burgeoning art community. Project Art will see top local talent granted free-of-charge space within the award-winning property to exhibit their work, lead educational masterclasses and creative workshops.

During short-term residencies, participating artists will have their works on display in high-traffic areas of Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens, and participate in scheduled masterclasses and impromptu workshops with guests. Bookable appointments for aspiring creatives to learn about artists’ styles will also be available on request.


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“The Project Art initiative aims to give back to our local art community and provide something truly unique and inspiring for our guests and visitors,” said Marcus Sutton, General Manager of Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens. “This exciting new initiative will ensure the community remains at the heart of everything we do.”  The new initiative launches April 30 with award-winning Timeblend Dubai, a photography collection by German-born Florian Kriechbaumer, who will showcase photographic works which capture the day-to-night transition of various iconic views of Dubai. “My workshops will help widen skills of anyone with basic knowledge and understanding of photography. The goal is to inspire people to try new compositions and hone techniques for capturing unique images,” says Kriechbaumer. “What drives my photography is combining the artistic and the technical, and expanding the breadth of photographic domains I explore.”

Project Art aligns with the hotel’s art and design aesthetic, and follows His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announcing a city-wide drive to make Dubai a “global capital for creative economy.” “It’s been incredible what has happened in the art scene in Dubai compared to when I first came to the country in 2004, when there were very few cultural and art events,” adds Kriechbaumer.

Florian Kriechbaumer poses for a photograph.

“The dedication of the leadership to encourage and support artists has opened up a lot of opportunities, with whole districts focused on creativity. “I’m positive Dubai will continue to establish itself on the international scene and amongst freelancers and the city’s vibrant art community. I feel extremely grateful that Zabeel House has provided my art with a platform through this initiative.”

The artist will also be available for several ‘Meet and Greet’ sessions during the opening weekend, where community members, visitors and aspiring photographers, will be able to interact and engage with him, as well as inquire about purchasing the artworks displayed. “I enjoy documenting scenic nature, interesting people, urban environments and events,” Kriechbaumer says. “My photographic inspiration ranges from Pete Carr to David Nightingale, Dan Reid, Dustin Diaz and many more who I sincerely thank for sharing their work.” In the composition New Districts, over 250 high rise buildings, all constructed in the last 15 years or so, line up along what is generally said to be the world’s largest man-made marina.

“It’s a special place for me, as it was one of the first areas of Dubai I explored on a photographic tour back when it was merely a water hole surrounded by sand, and also my district of residence for a while,” says Kriechbaumer. “Everything lined up perfectly for this photograph, with patchy clouds in the morning, a perfect sunset in between the buildings in the centre, and a clear evening.” In Historic Views, what is believed to be the oldest building in Dubai paired with the highest mosque minaret in the city, makes for a contrast to the well-known skyscrapers. Al Fahidi Fort and the Grand Mosque Bur Dubai are visible in the photo, looking northwards from a nearby building, with a glimpse of the creek on the right, and a few cruise ships docked at Mina Rashid in the distance on the left.

As Dubai re-opened after the lockdown, the city welcomed people back with one of its trademark fireworks, lighting up the sky over the Atlantis The Palm resort, with the monorail providing access to the hotel running over the water separating the main palm fronds and the surrounding crescent hotels. A beautiful sunset and some November clouds added to this composition (Palm Scenes).

“The Deira Clock Tower, located on Al Maktoum Road, was originally built in 1963, coinciding with the opening of the first bridge across the Dubai Creek, and just after the discovery of oil in the region. “It was later restored in 1989 and is one of the oldest and most recognisable landmarks in the city — indeed, it was once named among the 17 most beautiful clock towers in the world!” says Kriechbaumer about Sign of Times. From the Bridge presents a view of Dubai’s International Financial Centre district, with arguably the city’s most famous twin towers, Emirates Towers on the right side, and Burj Khalifa in the distance, while cars run by on Al Mustaqbal road under the pedestrian bridge, leading to the World Trade Centre exhibition space, from where this scene was taken. White Blanket shows one of the most incredible sights of the city when it reveals itself during rare winter days, when a layer of fog creeps in from the desert, covering the ground in a white blanket, with Dubai’s many tall buildings sticking out like a city above the clouds. Local artists who would like to participate in Project Art, can call 04 519 1111 or email: for further information and queries.


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