Reflection by Manal Dandan.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Art4you Gallery is hosting By The Sea, an exhibition of fine art at Picasso Gallery, Dubai. “The exhibition carries immense significance,” says Jesno Jackson, curator.
“This event will undoubtedly be an eye opener for the community towards the growing danger of extreme climatic variations and how the consequences of this change dramatically affects our oceans and in turn, marine life.”
The show portrays the beauty of the ocean and sea life, through the talent of fourteen international artists. The aim is to inspire people to make an effort to bring back the original magnificence of the oceans and the life that lives in them. By The Sea opened on Aug.19 in the presence of distinguished guests at Picasso Gallery, Beside Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai, and is open till Aug. 31.
On inaugural day, the artists themselves were available at the venue to narrate the stories behind their creations. “By the Sea exhibits work by international artists who have delved deep into the ocean of their creative minds and souls and translated the theme in their own unique styles and genres,” says Jackson. “We have tried to include artists who have depicted various facets of water, right from the surface to the very depths; hence the tagline “over the ocean, above the sea.” She feels that each of us on the planet has a responsibility to do our part to help protect, care for and enhance its liveability.
The Chief Guest on the occasion was Laila Rahhal El Aftani, President and Founder of Business Gate. Other dignitaries included AbdulAziz Ahmad, CEO, Safeer Corporates Services and Yaqoob Al Ali, MD, Al Ali Group of companies. Celebrity Guests included Isha Farha Quraishy, Mohammad Dakkak and Maktoum AlMarzooqi. Participating artists are Aseel Al Ramlawi (Palestine); Anna Wyborn (Russia); Bina Safdar and Sumaya Ali (Pakistan); Dr Manal Dandan (Lebanon); Dr Marwa AlAlwani (Iraq); Jesno Jackson, Megha Manjarekar, Nirupama Sibel, Sheetal Durve, Varsha Sehgal and Prathibha Ajayan (India); Rafah Abdulrazzak (Syria) and Roa Al Madani (UAE).
To add weight to the theme, invitees also included marine biologists, coastal scientists and environment specialists. Art4you is also currently presenting a virtual 3D exhibition celebrating abstract art, with artists brought together from all over the world (July 10 – Sept. 30) on Art4you Gallery Virtual Space. Titled Re-Connect, it has the works of fifteen international artists with a selection of fifty works engaging in a stream of abstraction. “Breathing new life into found objects, collaging different materials to create conversations between texture and content with abstract styles, Art4you Gallery honours the abstract theme by using different types of materials,” Jackson says.
“Understanding abstract art requires an inventiveness that invites you to discover for yourself the meanings behind the works. It is not easy to grasp, like still lifes, portraits or other form of representational art, because it is open to interpretation in a way that representational art is not,” says Art4you co-founder Rengi Cherian. Adds Jackson: “We at Art4you Gallery depend on visionaries to open up hidden doors, so we may glimpse parts of the world, and parts of ourselves, that otherwise may remain hidden.
“Vision is the specialty of abstract artists, and over the past 100+ years, many famous abstract paintings have succeeded in enlarging humanity’s view of itself and the world. “The visionaries who created those images not only endowed us, the viewers, with the gift of new things to see; they offered us entirely new ways of seeing. “Abstract art uses the visual language of shape, form, colour and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references to the world. “It does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality, but instead uses shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect. “It is often seen as carrying a moral dimension, in that it can be seen to stand for virtues such as order, purity, simplicity and spirituality.” Jackson is also curator of the show. Jackson and Cherian say that artists in the show found inspiration in images of spare landscapes, urban structures and geographic patterns and explore opposing concepts such as complexity and simplicity, or repetition and diversity. “Each artist gives the viewer a point of connection with abstract art.”
With their creative process, both intentional and spontaneous, they have blended paint, textural marks and hand-painted paper, adding and scraping away layers to create organic compositions. The use of geometric shapes and patterns is a unifying element in abstract paintings — an attempt to create structures within abstraction and paint the familiar with the ambiguous. The exhibition feature works of Aleksandra Ogorkiewicz, Aparna Sreejith, Abubakr Moaz, Kumar Chadayamangalam, Asawari Deoras, Brown D Ojoba, Parul Sosa, Luis Roca Brito, Teresa Albert, Sherizee Sean Acot, Suzanne Khayat, Tarini Agarwal, Rabah El Awaar, Ranjith Raghupathy and Varsha Sehgal.
Jackson and Cherian are the founders of ART4you gallery. Picasso Gallery focuses on new artists within the region and beyond. It holds regular exhibitions of affordable art, while supporting new and emerging talent. The gallery specialises in contemporary artworks and showcases paintings, prints, 3D art and sculpture. Also included are photography and works in mixed media. Collections are curated by Ophelia art consultancy.
The sale presents a unique opportunity for new and seasoned collectors to acquire works by the beloved artist, with stellar provenance.
Indian-Norwegian designer Helena Bajaj Larsen was born and raised in Paris. She moved to New York, where she pursued a Bachelor in Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design, graduating in 2017.
She has participated in exhibitions across the UAE – in Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah – and also in India and Turkey.
The show is an artistic exploration of the impermanent yet resilient aspects of the Emirati environment and those who share it.
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