Ramadan is an auspicious time of the year for all Muslims to keep their morals in check and spend quality time with their loved ones.
In the spirit of all this serenity, it only seemed fitting to visit the “Downtown Ramadan” art exhibition at the Emaar Pavilion which celebrated Islamic culture and highlighted Arabian heritage. It was curated by London based Ahlan Art gallery.
The artists were from all over the world and interpreted spirituality wonderfully with their varied artistic prowess.
The venue was very “Arabian Nights” with its plush, opulent decor. Perfect for iftar nights.
As I browsed through the works, I saw a lot of digital painting and photography as well as the more traditional pieces like oil painting and calligraphy. Innovative techniques were used such as incorporating 22 carat gold leaf and jewellery into the artwork. I liked the way traditional craftsmanship was constantly juxtaposed with new and interesting methods. Multifarious and very creative.
Here’s a few of my favorite pieces that stood out.
I loved Peter Gould’s sufi paintings. He really portrays a feeling of enlightenment and this piece has a really lovely illuminious, cosmic quality.
The repeated use of circular patterns around the Kabaa in Siddiqa Juma’s pieces are very hypnotic and have a tendency to pull you in. These evocative works capture a perfect balance of stillness and motion. Even though there are so many vibrant shades in it, there’s still a sense of harmony and balance.
I like how Samir Malik’s work took a traditional subject like calligraphy and gave it a new lease of life. It almost has a pop art twist with its bright colors, use of bold pattern and multilayered textures. These would all look great in a modern home as a statement piece with minimalist decor.
Aadil Abedi adorns his beautiful pieces with real traditional gold jewellery. Aside from the stunning calligraphy, the added bling factor definitely makes his work highly sought after amongst Arabs. The marbled effect texture in the background finishes off the luxurious and decadent appeal.
Speaking of luxurious, Lord Richard Macleod expands on this trend by using real gold to embellishment his calligraphy pieces. This one is mysteriously entitled “The night of Destiny”
Here’s a few other pieces I liked.
If you are a calligraphy aficionado, I highly recommend checking out these resplendent and captivating works. Their gallery and online website link is below.