For a third year in a row, the Popular annual no white walls exhibition returns for 2015 at Fairmont Bab al Bahr. Expect a host of fascinating and vibrant work by members of the artist-led initiative Based in Abu Dhabi. Fact shines a spotlight on Both Veteran and new artists taking Part in no white walls this year…
FOR ANYONE WHO SAYS THAT ABU DHABI doesn’t take art seriously, send them to the No White Walls exhibition. The fantastic artist-led initiative, of the same name, is focused on developing exhibitions and visual arts projects around the Emirates, aimed to encourage direct contact with the artists and their audience, by providing a platform for engaging in the arts, and adding to the cultural diversity within the UAE. This year, No White Walls features six artists working in a variety of mediums including paintings, sculpture, photography, and digital and textile art.
The exhibition kicked off at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, a committed supporter of art and culture in the city, in the renowned Chocolate Gallery corridor. This year, the No White Walls exhibition will feature new artists: Mohammad Awwad from Jordan, an artist and graphic designer whose artwork encompasses a vintage, surreal style with playful colours contrasting over layers of textures, and combining the various cultures that he has been exposed to. No White Walls veteran artists will also be exhibiting their new pieces, including Julia Ibbini, Emily Gordon, Yiannis Roussakis, Janine Ibbini and Jennifer Simon.
Julia Ibbini, artist and co-founder of No White Walls says: “We are really excited about the quality and diversity of the artwork that will be on show at this year’s exhibition which includes contemporary textile pieces, digital art, painting, photography and wearable art.” Emily Gordon, artist and co-founder of No White Walls says: “We’ve had a fantastic response to our No White Walls exhibitions over the past couple of years. As an artist-led organisation we’ve found that art-lovers and collectors value being able to talk to the artists about their journeys, their inspiration and their technique.”
Emily’s startlingly modern and colorful work consists of multiple layers of acrylic paint, interlaced with paraffin, resin, gold and silver leaf. This contemporary art form achieves remarkable visual depth which has the simultaneous effect of mes merising and thrilling the observer. Emily personally developed this unique style of art, a form of multi-media, which progressively evolved through years of extensive experimentation until she eventually found the final technique that she finds satisfying. Having lived in the Middle East for over 25 years, Emily admits a fascination for the sensual shapes, colours and designs of Arabic, Moorish and Byzantine architecture, and communicates this passion through her work. Emily’s work can be found enhancing palaces, villas, corporate offices, hotels, Etihad, Royal Jet and Gulf Air VIP facilities.
Renowned for her unique style and approach, this Jordanian-British artist has spent most of her life in the UAE and many of her pieces draw some reference to life and living here. Julia studied at Leeds College of Art and Design in the UK, graduating in 2002. She has exhibited extensively across the UAE in both solo and group shows collaborating with organisations such as the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Emirates Palace and The Mojo Gallery in Dubai. Julia has been organising pop-up shows with fellow artists over the past five years and in 2013 established No White Walls, an artist-led initiative that develops exhibitions and projects throughout the UAE. Julia’s work has been purchased by collectors worldwide, corporate organisations and hotels across the Middle East.
Her work is also in the collections of members of the royal family in the UAE and she was commissioned to create a work in celebration of the UAE’s 40th Anniversary which was unveiled by HH, The Duke of York. Julia combines photographs, drawings and paintings using a digital layering process to create the colour and detail in her work. Each individual piece is made up of up to 100 layers. The work is then printed onto archival paper and painstakingly overlaid by hand with paint, varnishes, beads, crystals and metallic ink.Examples of her work can be viewed on her website www.ibbini.com
Janine has been working with different art forms for most of her life. In recent years she has combined her love of fabric and threads with her interests in fine art and this has resulted in her passion; textile art. Janine has lived in the Middle East for 30 years, 28 of those in the UAE. Her work is influenced by the people, the culture and the landscapes she experiences here. Her pieces are inspired by the patterns she sees all around her and sometimes she develops her pieces based on the words from a song or poem. Janine’s pieces involve numerous layers of fabrics and stitching, with a piece taking hours, days and sometimes weeks to complete. Janine enjoys teaching and sharing her knowledge with others and is an active member of the textile arts community. She has exhibited across the Middle East, in the UK and in Switzerland winning numerous awards. She has also curated a number of exhibitions focusing on textile art.
Mohammad Awwad is an artist and graphic designer located in Amman, Jordan, and a graduate of the Academy of Arts (Egypt), who finds inspiration in random motives, personal interests, colours, textures and his daily life features, gathering and using anything from Magazine collages to site seeing tickets. His artwork shows vintage, surreal style with playful colors contrasting over layers of textures, and
mixes the various cultures that he is been exposed to. His continuous pursuit of new experiences, mediums and ideas makes his work authentically diverse and has contributed to him exhibiting in Jordan, Cairo, UK and KSA.
Yiannis, a Photographer and Digital Artist, was born in Athens, Greece. For the past 12 years, he has been living and working around the world (Laos, Thailand, Qatar, Mexico, Ghana, India, Oman, Scotland, London and Athens) and is now based in the UAE. With his photos he aims to reveal the surreal nature of seemingly trivial objects, spaces and moments, reflecting the idea that our personal reality is a state of dreaming. He has presented his work in solo and collective shows in Abu Dhabi, London, Athens and Glasgow. His work was commended at 2012 Sony World Photo Awards and was included in the final show at Somerset House in London. With a mix of black and white along with colour photography, Yiannis strikes to capture the dream-like quality of his surroundings. www.yiannisroussakis.com
Jen has lived in the UAE since 2000. She is widely known for her unique depiction of global urban cityscapes. Since then her work has evolved and now includes the people that inhabit the cities, drawing inspiration from her time living in the Middle East and earlier globetrots.
GO: No White Walls will run from September 17 to December 31 at The Chocolate Gallery Corridor, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi. Visit www.no-white-walls.com for more information.
Daily opening times are 9am to 9pm.