French jewelley house Van Cleef & Arpels has collaborated with Maryam Al Balooshi to create a jaw-dropping series of calligraphy artworks inspired by regional values. Themed Ramadan Kareem, Eid Mubarak and The Flowers of Values, each piece by the well-known Emirati calligraphist, engineer and author, carries a message of positivity, togetherness and inspiration as Muslims celebrate Ramadan and the joyous occasion of Eid to come.
Founded in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has inspired many with its creations, which highlight its positive vision of life. Similarly inspiring, Al Balooshi, who has worked with entities such as Sharjah International Calligraphy, sheds light on balance, kindness, compassion and unity through her artwork. And after covering the link between calligraphy and jewellery design during L’ÉCOLE School of Jewelry Arts’ visit to Dubai, they decided to collaborate and work on a project built on philosophy reflecting true and real values. After they decided to use meaningful artwork focused on calligraphy, Al Balooshi came up with the idea of linking the community’s values during Ramadan alongside Van Cleef & Arpels’ values.
“It’s a very unique and special experience. It’s inspiring to work on values of an important month, the Holy Month of Ramadan, which has a very special meaning to my heart. The month of re-habitation, peace, love, and connection,” Al Balooshi said. “Having these values married with Van Cleef & Arpels brings joy and happiness. It’s a collaboration with a lot of bliss and love among both parties. For an artist, respect and communication is desired and it’s always a blessing to have the opportunity to explore more inner energy in a different way.”
Van Cleef & Arpels has always been fascinated by flowers’ metamorphoses, re-imagnining their vitality and colourful hues in its creations, whether on high jewellery, jewellery or watches. Al Balooshi’s The Flowers of Values was inspired by the Frivole collection, a luminous ode to flowers.
About Maryam Al Balooshi
One of the UAE’s third generation of calligraphers, Maryam Al Balooshi started to learn Arabic calligraphy when she was a child. She has perfected her technique with the help of renowned calligraphers like Abdullah Al Tamimi, Adel Nada, Adnan Al Sharifi and Mohamed Nouri. Al Balooshi, who is planning her first solo exhibition, has participated in many local and international art exhibitions. These include the Dubai International Calligraphy Exhibition, the Emirates Association for Calligraphy exhibition in Thailand, the Female Arabic Calligraphers’ Exhibition in the UN Headquarters in Geneva and the Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial (several times). The talented artist, who founded the first UAE female calligraphers team, Letters of the Soul, is always attempting to try new approaches and study the techniques and skills of retouches. She has come to realise she needs to use and gather her “skills and capability as an author, an international person, and someone with a vision to create a footprint” in her work.
Al Balooshi is also extremely gifted in another arena. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science and is working as an environmental studies manager at the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority. She was the first Arab expert in the aviation environment field and has earned many awards, such as the Middle East Leadership of Excellence – Leader in Aviation from the American Association of leaders endorsed by the GCC Economic Chamber 2015. Last year, she was selected by the US State Department to represent the UAE in the “International leadership visitor programme (Women empowerment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Art)”.
Plus, she is writer and a columnist. Al Balooshi has published books like Live with ALLAH and a series called I Didn’t Lose, based on real-life situations and activities while studying and working.