Now exhibiting: Beauty in Unity show at Gallery 76 DIAC - GulfToday

Now exhibiting: Beauty in Unity show at Gallery 76 DIAC


A close-up of an artwork.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Gallery 76 at Dubai International Art Centre (DIAC) has opened its doors to Beauty in Unity, an art exhibition showcasing nearly 500 pieces of 20cm x 20cm canvases from more than 45 artists (Feb. 23 – Mar. 2).

It is a celebration of artistic diversity and a gesture towards the beauty in the art of the Emirates, which flourishes in part due to the collaborative efforts of many artists from many nationalities.

“The exhibition is a testament to the talent flourishing in the United Arab Emirates, and underlines the convergence of creativity of various artists, each contributing to the overarching theme of unity,” says DIAC. “The vibrant array of artworks on display are a kaleidoscope of colours, styles and perspectives, intertwining seamlessly to create a harmonious visual symphony.”


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The show was inaugurated by distinguished Emirati artist Dr. Najat Makki, and the opening was graced by the presence of Faisal Abdulqadir, another eminent UAE artist, who was also the special guest of the evening. It was attended by Ahmed Al Awadi Rukni, Maktoum Bin Mohamed, Sultana Kazim, Peter Gressman, and well known artist Anjini Prakash Laitu. Their combined presence added a layer of significance to the occasion, underscoring the importance of unity and collaboration in fostering a thriving art community. DIAC chairperson Diyali Bhalla commented on the occasion that “the atmosphere in Gallery 76 is nothing short of electric, and patrons and art enthusiasts have filled the space to capacity. The success of the exhibition is further highlighted by the numerous artworks that have found new homes - a testament to the resonance of the theme and the skillful execution of the artists involved.”

DIAC 2  Dr. Najat Makki inaugurating the exhibition.

DIAC Manager Sahira Ameen said that “Beauty in Unity transcends the boundaries of traditional art exhibitions, creating an immersive experience that captivates the senses and stirs emotions. The collaborative spirit that permeates the event echoes the idea that true beauty lies in the unity of diverse elements, bringing forth masterpieces that transcend individual contributions, being collaborative in nature.” Beauty in Unity is aimed to extend beyond the walls of Gallery 76, and leave a mark on Dubai’s art ecology. Besides highlighting the talents of participating artists, it also serves as a poignant reminder of the power of art to unite, inspire and elevate the human spirit – something that Dubai, as the home to art communities of various nationalities, is well-known for.Participating artists include Alemayehu Goshime, Ahmed Al Awadi Rukni, Anjini Prakash Laitu, Anastasie Akibode, Amina Shahala, Aakanksha Kshatriya, Amruta Ketkar, Anja Beckert, Amal Alkej, Alia Amin AbdulKarim, Aleksandra Klimczyk, Asiya Hassham Malik, Belousova Daria, Beena Samuel, Deepa Rajesh, Dr. Poonam Chauhan, Heena Mamtani, Jyoti Sethi, Lita Mathews, Mahnaz Rafiq Javid, Meena Meher, Malika Rahman, Neelam Nagarale, Nousheen Zeeshan, Nahida Beshara, Nischala Dhruva, Paulomi Kiritsinh Rana, Pari Sagar, Reshma Parikh, Ruchita Datt, Renuka Sanjeev, Soobika Fawad, Shoma Banerjee, Safa Peshimam, Seema Haque, Sushmita Dhruva, Sahira Ameen, Tanya Hayek, Tumpa Banerjee, Umka, Vera Ivannikova, Yoshita Ahmed and Zeina Hermes.

DIAC 1  The urbanscape of Dubai, left, A study of landscapes.

Najat Makki (b. Dubai, 1956) is a pioneering Emirati artist best known for her liking for colour and dreamlike, abstracted depictions of the natural landscape of the UAE. The colourist and painter initially began by using fluorescent paints in her work in scenography for children at the Ministry of Education. It introduced the Gulf to a style of abstract painting characterised primarily by large fields of flat, solid colour, creating areas of unbroken surface being spread across and a flat picture plane. Her use of the material in contemporary art contexts creates an unconventional viewing experience, often accompanied by UV lights that lift the canvas to another dimension.

The experiment debuted in her solo exhibition at Al Wasl Club in Dubai in 1987; it marked a turning point in her career and gained her regional recognition. Makki has exhibited widely in her home country and also internationally in Egypt, France, Germany, India, Jordan, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Art Museum, the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi, Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation in Dubai, Women’s Museum in Dubai and the Ministry of Culture and Youth in Abu Dhabi, among others.

Gallery 76 is the oldest public art gallery in the UAE and occupies a special place in the history of Dubai’s thriving art scene. It plays a key role in DIAC, facilitating art for all, since its purpose is to “offer student, amateur and professional artists an affordable, accessible, well managed and renowned public exhibition space to showcase their talents.” The Gallery is also housed in DIAC and benefits from the Centre’s considerable footfall of students, artists and art appreciative public alike.

It is occupied with solo, shared and group exhibitions year round and bookings are required at least 6-12 months in advance! DIAC is a non-profit organisation owned by its members and managed by a board of directors. It is the oldest centre for arts education in Dubai, offering the community over 80 different art courses and workshops, language courses and gallery exhibitions. It was founded in 1976 by the initiative of a few artists and art enthusiasts residing in Dubai. Today, its membership stands at more than 1,100 members hailing from over 70 different nationalities - and growing.

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