Sikka presents new murals and installations

The 11th edition of the Sikka Art and Design Festival has provided an inspiring space for many artists to explore their imagination through six murals and nine outdoor installations that express the local cultural scene in line with the Dubai Public Art Strategy, which is implemented by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) to transform Dubai into an outdoor art museum.

This year’s festival, which runs until 5 March, features 6 murals distinguished by the uniqueness of their ideas and methods as well as their ability to capture the pulse of Dubai and its fragrant heritage and traditions. Emirati artist Abdulla Lutfi has depicted the emirate’s journey as an ambitious city that has reached new horizons without abandoning its heritage and tradition with his mural ‘My Dubai’, while Badr Abbas pushes the boundaries of art and technology with his mural ‘The Future is Here’. Fatma Al Ali’s work ‘Ya labes el Tally’ showcases different types of Emirati dressing gowns and kandoor and focuses on the unique aspects of beads and tally embroidered on fabric adorned with traditional gold ornaments.

Nearby, Algerian artist Sneak Hotep exhibits his work entitled Composure, inspired by the balance between provenance, appearance, doctrine and essence, while Filipino artist Mark Barretto’s work Tomorrow reflects on the role of time; in a digital-like silhouette, it features a child holding a flower to represent the hope and aspirations based on heritage. The the Sikka Art and Design Festival’s walls are also an inspiring space for students from the Zayed University College of Arts and Creative Enterprises with their ‘Translations of the United Arab Emirates’ presenting their perception of the nature of life in the UAE through pictorial drawings using various traditional, research and practical techniques.

The Sikka Art and Design Festival will also present nine outdoor installations. Entitled ‘Threads of Time: weaving history on blank canvas’, artists Hamda Al Falahi and Reema Al Mheiri present their facade installation as a tribute to the region’s rich textile heritage and its historic trading role, while French artist Alexy Gouget presents his installation ‘Once Upon A Snack’, delving into childhood nostalgia with a series of works made only from LEGO bricks, depicting iconic snack brands that have become part of local pop culture.

Emirati artist Jassim Al Awadhi presented his sculpture ‘The Circle’, made up of three differently coloured figures, to express his vision of a purposeful pursuit of renewal, while Emirati artist Rawdha Al Ketbi took festival-goers on a journey through time with her installation ‘El Dresha’, a traditional window used as a time portal to visit the past. With the Migrant Minds installation, Studio Moey captured the story of immigrants who left their homeland, bringing hopes, dreams and remnants of their identity to the UAE to create a better future.

Emirati Abdullah Al Kindi presents his sculpture “Thigmomorphogenis”, which questions our use of gardening in the endless struggle between ecology, which precedes our sociological systems, and the systems that try to subjugate the will of the land, while Iranian artist Ali Bahmani’s “Mirrorigami: Endless Reflections” is inspired by the art of origami. Italian artist Christian Rizzuti and Spanish artist Julián Alvarez present a fascinating installation titled Amnesia, where memory comes alive on a circular canvas: its pulse, vitality, loss and what is left of it. Syrian artist Alya Ola Abbas presented her work Stereotype Inversion – Meaning, which deals with the human journey, embodying the difference and beautiful contrast between heritage and new contemporary elements.

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