Edge of Arabia: The Future of a Promise - 2011 54th International Art Exhibition at the Venice biennale Dorsoduro, Venice. edgeofarabia.com
The Future of a Promise was the largest Pan-Arab show of contemporary art at the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. From Tunisia all the way to Saudi Arabia, this landmark exhibition brought together more than twenty-five recent works and commissions by some of the foremost artists from the Arab world.
Presenting important works that range from installation, performance and photography, to video, sculpture and painting, The Future of a Promise included the following artists: Ziad Abillama (Lebanon), Manal Al-Dowayan (Saudi Arabia), Ahmed Alsoudani (Iraq), Ziad Antar (Lebanon), Ayman Baalbaki (Lebanon), Lara Baladi (Egypt/Lebanon), Fayçal Baghriche (Algeria), Yto Barrada (Morocco), Taysir Batniji (Palestine), Abdelkader Benchamma (France/Algeria), Ayman Yossri Daydban (Palestine/Jordan), Mounir Fatmi (Morocco), Abdulnasser Gharem (Saudi Arabia), Mona Hatoum (Lebanon), Raafat Ishak (Egypt), Emily Jacir (Palestine), Yazan Khalili (Palestine), Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabia), and Driss Ouadahi (Algeria), as well as three Abraaj Capital Art Prize Winners, Jananne Al-Ani (Iraq), Kader Attia (Algeria), and Nadia Kaabi-Linke (Tunisia).
Edge of Arabia Jeddah: We Need to Talk - 2012 Al Furusiya Marina, Corniche Road, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. edgeofarabia.com
Edge of Arabia Jeddah: We Need to Talk, curated by Mohammed Hafiz and co-curated by Edge of Arabia founder Stephen Stapleton, was the most significant show of Saudi contemporary art ever held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Ranging from video to sculpture to installation, the exhibition featured over 40 new works by Saudi’s emerging contemporary artists, including: Abdulnasser Gharem, Adwa AlMubarak, Ahaad Alamoudi, Ahmed Angawi, Ahmed Mater, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Effat Fadaag, Eyad Maghazel, Hala Ali, Hamza Serafi, Ibrahim Abumsmar, Jowhara AlSaud, Maha Malluh, Manal Al-Dowayan, Mohammed Al Ghamdi, Nasser Al-Salem, Noha Al-Sharif, Saddek Wasil, Saeed Salem, Sami Al-Turki, Sara Al-Abdali and Sarah Abu Abdullah.
To accompany the exhibition, Edge of Arabia delivered an ambitious education programme aimed at engaging local school and university students in contemporary art from across the region. The programme included an art symposium held at the Jeddah chamber of commerce, a dedicated 100 square meter education room within the exhibition, with workshop, presentation and research facilities for visitors; guided tours of the exhibition and practical workshops with participating artists for local school and university groups; and an internship programme for local students.
Like Coral, I Create Clouds', is a kaleidoscopic trip into her colourful canvases. A series of variegated paintings and works on paper, all oscillating between the realms of portraiture and figurative abstraction. An amalgamation of bold, conspicuous chromatic movements, guided into shapes and left to meet at 'moments', where our imaginations make and shake figures into focus. Inspiration from relationships, music and travels makes this a highly personal oeuvre. The emerging patterns of colour and forms are visceral combinations of raw emotion and honed technique. There are no contrived concepts or calculated imagery. The drive is purely to uphold the emotive forcefulness of the tension that is created as the pigments and shapes vie for space on the canvas. Each tone acts as a theatrical backdrop, drawing in our riveted energy, seducing us to play out our imagination and exhaling us back into 'clouds of colour'.
With change hitting the scenes in the Middle East, Turkey is yet another place where people are taking to the streets with various tools of expression and one of those happens to be art. And what better way to communicate than creative self-expression? In parallel to the rising Turkish art scene, the Istanbul Biennale and change in general, Newertown and Ekavart present Art in Parallel Threads.
Art in Parallel Threads features stunning new works by young Turkish and International artists that build on the idea of parallelism. This exhibition focuses on the boundaries and limitations which artists themselves face when conceptualising, producing and presenting their work, often blurring the lines between what is considered art and what is not. It is in these budding artistic careers, still shielded from the worn paths of the establishment, that the curators have found the interesting threads of creativity that make up this show.
A multidisciplinary exhibition, Art in Parallel Threads brings together a wide range of media to highlight how art comes in as many shapes as an artist can imagine. These complex forms are the artist’s arsenal to transform the abstract into the tangible. From installations to Polaroids, from paintings to iPads, the journey along the parallel is an artist’s quest to use a variety of investigative visual media to answer questions that are often left unasked.
This February, Newertown | Art will host Frequency, Kholoud Sharafi's first solo exhibition in London, which brings together highlights from her Telfaz, Umm Kulthoum and Istewana series. Born in Dubai in 1987, Sharafi is one of the UAE's brightest young talents. Her work—a mixture of calligraphy and symbolic imagery—expands on the shapes and patterns used in classic Islamic art and architecture. The artist's style is unique, infusing energy into her work by transporting tradition onto new media and presenting it through innovative compositional arrangements.
Curated by Juan Carlos Farah and Kate Busby, this exhibition coincides with the inauguration of the Centre's Permanent Collection, which is jointly supported by the Arab British Centre and Offscreen.
Covering the diverse contemporary art scene of the region, the works on display are an unparalleled insight to the rich traditions of the Middle East, North Africa and Arab culture as it manifests itself in Europe. From stylised calligraphic compositions to conceptual photography, this collection is an homage to the diversity and outstanding quality of artwork from and inspired by the Arab world.
A showcase of paintings, photographs, prints and sculpture by young artists from the Middle East and Britain, A Patch on My Evil Eye fiercely challenges the worn stereotypes too often associated with the Arab world. Featuring the latest work by Noor Al Suwaidi, Ruba Asfahani, Juan Carlos Farah, Daniel Louis MacCarthy, Hazem Harb and the celebrated Palestinian photographer Yazan Khalili, this exhibition offers a nascent perspective on subjects that are repeatedly misrepresented by the media and misunderstood by the public.
The Frameless Gallery 20 Clerkenwell Green London EC1R 0DP
Celebrating the centennial of International Women's Day, Newertown's first photography-only exhibition brings together work by five young female artists from across the world. Added Weight is a visual exploration of how identity shapes existence and—in turn—how existence feeds back into identity. The series on display directly address the nature of this relationship, with a particular focus on women, and the implications through subject and context, that it entails. Visually, it is a discourse on the value of such identifiers and an experiment on how they communicate with their audience.
The Gallery 50 Redchurch Street Shoreditch - London E2 7DP
External is a showcase of innovative paintings, photographs, sculpture and video installation, featuring work by Emirati artist Noor Al Suwaidi, Lebanese abstract calligrapher Shirine Osseiran and the acclaimed Palestinian photographer Yazan Khalili. An exploration and insight into the thriving art world of further east, this exhibition invites its audience to address the importance and shortcomings of individuality and tradition in a region frequently subject to clichés and misconceptions.
20 Clerkenwell Green London EC1R 0DP
Driven to pursue a broader and less restrictive role as both a company and a creative project, Newertown is working towards actively poising itself as an agent for change in the production, interpretation and consumption of contemporary art. Frameless is a firm step in that direction. Six artists, each working in a fringe of his/her own, showcase the work that separates them from the mass.