To celebrate eight UAE-based artists who have returned after completing postgraduate degrees abroad, Tashkeel has organised an exhibition called The Alumni Return. Taking place in the leading centre for art and design in Dubai, the exhibition that marks their important milestone is running until October 29. The Alumni Return gives audiences the chance to see work not previously shown, which will, in years to come, be regarded as pivotal moments in their careers. Plus, there’s an accompanying programme of free tours, talks and workshops led by the artists.
Azim Al Ghussein
Spanning a wide range of mediums, from silkscreen and textiles to video and installation, the exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to interact with selected works. The female artists include Salama Nasib, who has a Master of Arts (MA) from London’s Royal College of Art. She is behind the Shadow Series, which depicts her struggle with memory. The need to never forget is also the focus of The Museum of Banishment by Fatima Uzdenova, another MA student at the Royal College of Art. Her work is a fictive depiction of the real trauma of deportation endured by the people of the Karachay Republic in Northern Caucasus.
Additionally, mortality and ageing is examined in Body by Hadeyeh Badri, who earned her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The corporeal woven textile was inspired by her aunt’s debilitating sickness. Meanwhile Salsabeel by Moza Al Matrooshi, who has an MFA from London’s Slade School of Fine Art, explores the sweetness of the promise of paradise through the analogy of a fountain of cascading honey.
“This exhibition testifies to the depth and diversity of current visual arts practice in the UAE and serves as a marker of its ongoing development. It also shows what can be achieved when institutions such as Tashkeel and the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation invest in artists’ practice,” Lisa Ball-Lechgar, Deputy Director of Tashkeel, said.
Many of the determined and dedicated artists involved in The Alumni Return have benefitted from support provided by entities such as Art Dubai, the Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Foundation and, of course, Tashkeel. Since its establishment in 2008, Tahskeel, which is committed to investing in artists and helping them to push the boundaries of their practice, has had over 30 members, as well as staff, travel overseas to pursue postgraduate studies in art and design. Many return home to the UAE eager to use their advanced knowledge to contribute to the growth of the UAE cultural sector.
Salama Nasib.Semi-replica of her studio
images courtesy of Tashkeel