From Arabic calligraphy to tributes to the UAE’s Mission to Mars, the Murals exhibition at Al Qattara Arts Centre in Al Ain reflects on the country’s fast-changing growth.
Presented by the centre to mark its 10-year anniversary, it features 12 artists from the UAE commissioned to explore the country's heritage and history, as well as its embrace of modernity, through large-scale works.
The second exhibition on view is titled Common Ground, which takes a broader look at Gulf history, specifically the links between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Seven Emirati artists – Ahmad Saeed Al Areef Al Dhaheri, Ghanem Younes, Khalid Al Tamimi, Maryam Al Suwaidi, Roudha Al Shamsi, Saoud Al Dhaheri, and Sarah Aladayleh – consider the social, cultural and economic commonalities of the two countries, while highlighting the nuances as well.
The range of the works includes installations of textiles, clay, video and mixed media. Common Ground was previously shown at Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation in early 2020, where it was conceived as a response to Saudi prince Sultan bin Fahad’s The Red Palace exhibition.
“For years, we have offered a family-friendly venue where arts and culture can be discovered and practiced by the Abu Dhabi community and visitors to Al Ain,” Ahmed Mohammed Barzaiq, head of Al Qattara Arts Centre, said.
"With these extraordinary works by a variety of talented local artists, we honour the thriving cultural scene of the emirate, and the past, present and future of our great country. The artworks are a must-see, and I invite the public to visit us and enjoy this visual celebration."
Since it was established in 2011, Al Qattara Arts Centre has put together public programming across visual art, film and craft, showcasing artists living and working in the UAE. Apart from its galleries, the centre also has dedicated areas for archaeological and heritage-focused shows and studios for art classes and workshops.
Earlier this year, the centre held a film programme that screened Emirati and Israeli short films. Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, which manages the centre, and Image Nation and Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & Television School, a total of eight short films were screened as part of the project, including Ostora by Faisal Al Shiryani, Feeding 500 by Rafed Al Harethi, Portrait of my Family by Omri Dekel-Kadosh and Blessed by Prague Benbenisty.
For Ramadan, the centre operates on weekdays from 9am to 4pm and will be closed on Friday and Saturday. Entrance to Al Qattara Arts Centre is free.
More information is at abudhabiculture.ae