Waterfront Market and Dubai Culture reveal Murals & Art Competition winner - GulfToday

Waterfront Market and Dubai Culture reveal Murals & Art Competition winner

Sudheer Perinjat’s winning artwork.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

The Waterfront Market and Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) have announced the winner of the fifth edition of the Murals and Art Competition.

The theme focused on the future of Dubai, following Expo 2020 Dubai and its success in bringing the world together for the largest global gathering since the pandemic. Artists were encouraged to be inspired by the magnitude of the Expo and showcase their vision of what the future of Dubai could look like.

Judges shortlisted five entries and were unanimous in their decision to award the winning prize of Dhs30,000 to Sudheer Perinjat, for his work titled ‘My Dubai, My Confidence’. Perinjat said that “I am honoured and overwhelmed to have my mural permanently displayed at the Waterfront Market. Revealing my winning mural as part of the Dubai Art Season is definitely a milestone which I will cherish forever. “It took me 100 hours to complete the mural and I am grateful to be able to share my art with the world and celebrate the future of Dubai. One of my greatest experiences was the Expo 2020 Dubai, filled with futuristic innovative visions …”


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Located at the crossroads of Al Khaleej Road and Abu Hail Road, the Market is a component of the Deira Enrichment Project, which aims to burnish Dubai’s trading and commerce legacy. Dr. Saeed Mubarak Kharbash Al Marri, CEO of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture, said that “through the competition, we seek to enrich Dubai’s creative identity, as it is in line with the Dubai Public Art Strategy aimed at transforming the emirate into a global art gallery that is open and accessible to all.”

Maitha Almarri 1  Waterfront Market’s Senior Officer Maitha Almarri is an artist herself.

Mohammad Al Madani, Waterfront Market Manager, said: “We are firm believers in bringing the community together and our Murals and Art Competition is a testament to that.” A panel of judges, including Khalil Abdulwahid Hassan, Director of Fine Arts Department at Dubai Culture, artist and Waterfront Market’s Senior Officer - Marketing and Social Media Maitha Almarri and Lachlan Gyde, Executive Director – Asset Manager, Ithra Dubai LLC, selected the winner. Here are Almarri’s winning answers to Gulf Today’s competitive questions regarding the event

What are the qualities that made Sudheer Perinjat’s work ‘My Dubai My Confidence’ a winner?

We usually follow the same set of criteria every year when it comes to judging the submitted the artworks, such as the use of colours, the style of the painting, the medium used, how relevant it is to our chosen concept and the composition of the elements within the artwork. With Sudheer’s artwork, it ticked all the criteria.

Filthy graffiti than artistic murals usually fill the walls of a market where fish, poultry and vegetables are sold. Can you comment?

First of all, the Waterfront Market is not just any market: we are a 24-hour operating state-of-the-art facility that caters to more than just grocery buyers. The people who come here will not just buy their fish or fruits and vegetables, they plan their visit to be spent differently.  Also, we have been very tactical when it comes to selecting the wall for each mural and its location. We made sure that they are very close to each other almost creating this walk-in museum feel, where people can walk and see them without missing on one.

When the Murals and Art Competition launched back in 2018, our aim was to support amateur artists looking for an opportunity to grow, especially when it comes to Deira and its community. Now we proudly know that most of our past winners have grown in their careers and been given opportunities in other parts of the UAE to showcase their artwork and have won other art competitions.

Has there been positive vibes from customers and workers in the Market vis-a-vis the murals?

Definitely! We have seen a lot of engagement with the murals, both on ground and on social media — a lot of people pose and take photos in front of these walls. We are also proud to have received the prestigious Community Retail Project of the Year Award at the Big Project Middle East Awards 2022.

Did the Waterfront Market whisper suggestions to the “Martists” (Market artists) or is it all their own work?

As an artist myself, I would hate to be asked to do my artwork differently, because what truly makes an artist is his or her own take on the artwork itself, the colours chosen and the way it’s composed. However, if certain elements do not seem right, we do make a suggestion - and most artists will be delighted to alter and amend.

You are a well-known artist yourself. Tell us about your life in the world of art.

I would be lying if I said I have been painting recently or have any upcoming works. However, I have taken part in a few competitions and exhibitions, including the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award, and public art initiatives such as Dubai Canvas.  My journey in the art world started when I was a little girl; I loved exploring and using different mediums and surfaces and I made sure I pursued that in school and university. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from Zayed University.  If you ask what type of art I have not explored yet, the list would be very short, because I was adamant to try everything before finally settling on portrait painting..

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