Over 40 UAE-based artists and designers to exhibit at Tashkeel’s ‘COVID Conversations’

  • Artworks explore issues that prevailed during the pandemic such as mental health, mortality, loss, faith, isolation, family, personal identity, economy, and others
  • Artists were selected from 162 participants who responded to the exhibition’s open call
  • The selection reflects the multifaceted experiences by the creative professionals and the       nature of the UAE community, representing a wide range of nationalities

Dubai, UAE – December 2020 | Over 40 UAE-based artists and designers have been selected to participate in Tashkeel’s ‘COVID Conversations’, a group exhibition that will be held from 8 December until 4 January 2021 to explore creativity borne out of the pandemic and the challenges of limitation, isolation, and change.

Mental health, mortality, loss, faith, isolation, family, and personal identity will be amongst the several issues that the exhibition will reflect on in an attempt to examine the gamut of emotions that the artists have been experiencing since March 2020, whether positive or negative.

“Tashkeel was humbled by the incredible response from UAE’s art and design community to this open call – which is a testament to the overwhelming creativity expressed in the face of, and because of, such adversity. After extensive deliberation, the works selected signify the capacity of humanity to overcome and endure. Journeys of love, loss, introspection, communal strength, and experimentation are captured through an array of mediums that celebrate the importance and power of creative expression in times of crisis,” said Lisa Ball-Lechgar, the deputy director of Tashkeel.

The exhibition’s open call had a total of 162 entrees of UAE-based creative practitioners from various disciplines. With artworks representing the multicultural environment of the country, the 40 selected artists originate from different countries including UAE, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, India, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, America, Canada, South Korea, and South Africa.

‘‘COVID Conversations’ is an archive of expression, exploration, and resilience. We are deeply grateful to all those who submitted works and are honoured that so many members of the country’s creative community shared their experiences of the pandemic,” added Lisa Ball-Lechgar.

Exhibiting artists include names such as Boushra Almutawakel, Saeed Al Madani, Sawsan Al Bahar, Ana Escobar, Debjani Bhardwaj, Ichraq Bouzidi, Khalid Al Banna, Michael Rice, Azza Al Qubaisi, Nouf Al Jadhami & Ali Dawi, Ji-hye Kim, Becky Beamer, Altamash Urooj, and Stephanie Neville.

Both completed and ongoing works, along with      experimental outcomes or research since March 2020 – when restrictions on movement were first introduced in the UAE – will be exhibited. Many artworks presented will be available for sale at prices ranging from AED 145 to AED 30,000.

‘COVID Conversations’ will take place from 8 December 2020 to 4 January 2021 at the gallery space at Tashkeel Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai, alongside an engagement programme of talks, tours and workshops – delivered both online and live at Tashkeel Nad Al Sheba 1. The exhibition will open from 10am to 8pm every day except Friday and public holidays, and admission is free. Booking in advance is essential via email tashkeel@tashkeel.org or call +971 4 336 3313. Guided tours available upon request. For details, visit tashkeel.org.

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Note to Editors

About Tashkeel

Established in Dubai in 2008 by Lateefa bint Maktoum, Tashkeel seeks to provide a nurturing environment for the growth of contemporary art and design practice rooted in the UAE. Through multidisciplinary studios, work spaces and galleries located in both Nad Al Sheba and Al Fahidi, it enables creative practice, experimentation and dialogue among practitioners and the wider community. Operating on an open membership model, Tashkeel’s annual programme of training, residencies, workshops, talks, exhibitions, international collaborations and publications aims to further practitioner development, public engagement, lifelong learning and the creative and cultural industries.

Tashkeel’s range of initiatives includes: Tanween, which takes a selected cohort of emerging UAE-based designers through a nine-month development programme to take a product inspired by the surroundings of the UAE from concept to completion; critical practice, which invites visual artists to embark on a one-year development programme of studio practice, mentorship and training that culminates in a major solo presentation; MakeWorks UAE, an online platform connecting creatives and fabricators to enable designers and artists accurate and efficient access to the UAE manufacturing sector; exhibitions and workshops to challenge artistic practice, enable capacity building and grow audience for the arts in the UAE; and the heart of Tashkeel, its membership, a community of creatives with access to facilities and studio spaces to refine their skills, undertake collaborations and pursue professional careers.

Visit tashkeel.org