My entry for the Van Cleef/Tashkeel Middle East Emergent Prize

February 7, 2014

A while ago, I posted details about the press conference I went to where I learnt that Van Cleef was holding an annual competition with Tashkeel for emerging artists. I knew as soon as I went to the event that I really wanted to participate. After all, the stakes couldn’t be higher – the winner will have the opportunity to travel to Paris to attend courses at L’ECOLE Van Cleef & Arpels. With such an attractive and tempting prospect, I knew I had to crack a shot at it! I set about thinking of ways to interpret the theme. As […]


Ali Abbas solo show at Mussawir Gallery

January 31, 2014

I’ve always had a soft corner for Pakistani art. I’m aware that statement may sound biased given my roots, but hear me out – From Sadequain’s calligraphic cubism to Hajra’s romantic illustrative pieces, Pakistani art boasts a full-bodied and unique range of styles rich in its illustrious heritage. It’s a melting pot of various cultures and influences and the sheer level of skill and talent is unbelievable and indeed in abundance. Pakistani artists appear to all possess an innate, sophisticated sense of taste and aesthetics, particularly where the subject of colour is concerned. For instance, I love the warm vibrant […]


The Young Collector’s Auction

January 26, 2014

I’ve always been so curious about auctions. Not only are they über chic, attracting the creme de la creme of art buffs … they seem so exclusive too. I’ve always wanted to go to one and play the part of a mysterious woman in big floppy theatrical hat and scarlet lipstick; looking like a some sort of heiress character with a story to tell. I’d sit at the back and furrow my brow in deep contemplation while examining the artwork… “Should I bid on this one?? Yes ? No? Will it go with the decor in my mansion in Emirates […]


Fashion illustration workshop at The Archive

January 17, 2014

If there’s anything I have noticed about teachers, it’s that there are generally two types. There’s the bitter ones who have had big career dreams in the past but failed and so they ended UP teaching, much to their dismay. As a result, they’re disillusioned and don’t hesitate take it out on their students. These are the ones who are skeptical, negative and revel in giving you a good hard daily dose of their (not so) delightful “realistic advice.” On the flip side of the coin, there are the teachers who genuinely love to teach and let you in on […]


Humphrey the Hippo

December 30, 2013

One trait that everyone always notices about me is that I am very imaginative. I always have a habit of envisioning bizarre humourous scenarios in my head and then when telling a story, I laugh much harder than anyone else in the group …followed by several minutes trying to explain why it’s so funny, followed by quizzical looks and an awkward silence and sparse hesitant chuckles. You just had to be there. In my head. This is why the art of storytelling appeals to me so much. I can finally put my imagination to good USE. I’ve always had a […]


‘Twas the night before Christmas …

December 24, 2013

Even though I’ve been raised a Muslim, I still love celebrating all festive holidays and there’s something about Christmas in particular that is so enchanting. Don’t get me wrong, Eid is nice too – but we don’t have nearly as many sparkly looking props as you guys do !!! I adore christmas lights, gift wrap, gingerbread, glitter, hot chocolate, shop window displays … yep… the WORKS! Everything but the miserable winter weather .. I draw the line at grey skies and snow …no need to be THAT authentic! Therefore, I appreciate Christmas even MORE as a spectator from the sunshine […]