5 Minutes with Wafa El Hilali

Wafa El Hilali. Courtesy Wafa El Hilali
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French Moroccan artist Wafa El Hilali is showcasing her work at World Art Dubai this weekend. She talks to us about her inspirations.

The first art work I bought? Well I never had the chance to buy any artwork to this date. If I had to buy an artwork though it would have to be a piece I could take with me and travel with easily, like those picture frames we often put in our suitcases to remember our loved ones. I will be looking out for it. Just give me some time ...

The first art work I created as an artist is no longer. I am usually very critical about my work. I wasn't particularly satisfied with it at the time and therefore got rid of it. I shouldn't' have I know! I remember that it represented a whirl of colours on a white background, an abstract piece. I wish I had kept it of course. I am today more careful when it comes to throwing away an artwork that I don't connect with particularly. I just don't do it. I choose to give more room for reinvention or even recycling. I have more ideas to turn my unwanted pieces into stories of a lifetime.

My art work now is being displayed primarily in Dubai: "April" and "Time swims" can be found at "La Serre Bistro" in downtown Dubai. "Lueur d'espoir", "Algae" and "En attendant Le soleil " are populating the walls of SELVA showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road. I am pleased to also be collaborating with Monda Gallery, a well established gallery in the region. Most of my original artworks can actually be found on their website: www.mondagallery.com.

My favourite artist or I would say the artwork that fully captured my attention lately is "Around the

Blues” by Sam Francis currently on display at Tate Modern — London. This piece of art looks so vibrant, flawless and fluid. I had a real connection with the shapes, the gaps, the colours. At the time of my discovery I was working on my first solo exhibition “Underwater”, a collection of paintings and poetry. So I very much felt like merging with the piece. It really resonated with me. Today I start to think that it might have inspired me to create “The Blues” one artwork that now found a new home.

A painting I wish I created is still sitting there in my mind waiting to see the light. People, landscapes, music, emotions and colours are my source of inspiration. I have got thousands of ideas and I am looking forward to seeing more of them become live on canvas.

I would describe the UAE arts scene as being vibrant and eclectic. The UAE is a platform that allow artists from all nationalities to emerge freely and expose their talent. Hundreds of local, national and international exhibitions occur each year in the country which gives the chance to local Artists to share experiences. I am very proud to have chosen Dubai for my first steps as an artist. The next show I will be exhibiting at is the "World Art Dubai" which will take place at the World Trade Centre from the 6th to 9th of April 2016. I welcome all Art aficionados to come and meet Artists from around the globe.

• World Art Dubai runs from Wednesday to Saturday at Dubai World Trade Centre. www.worldartdubai.com5 m