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Sikka 2023 unveils 6 murals and 9 outdoor installations

The 11th edition of Sikka Art and Design Festival has offered inspirational spaces for many artists, enabling them to unleash their imaginations via six murals and nine outdoor installations that express the local cultural scene in line with the Dubai Public Art Strategy that Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is implementing to transform Dubai into an open art museum.

In this year's edition that runs until 5 March, Sikka is presenting 6 murals distinct in the uniqueness of their ideas and methods, and their ability to portray the pulse of Dubai and its fragrant heritage and traditions. Emirati artist Abdulla Lutfi, through his mural ‘My Dubai,’ depicts the emirate’s journey as an ambitious city that reached new horizons without abandoning its heritage and traditions, while Badr Abbas, through his mural ‘The Future is Here,’ pushes the boundaries of art and technology, showcasing the UAE’s aspirations for the next 50 years, with a playful and thought-provoking representation of renewable energy, futuristic healthcare, and space exploration. Fatma Al Ali’s ‘Ya labes el Tally’ showcases the different kinds of Emirati thobes and kandooras and focuses on the unique aspects of the beading and Talli embroidered within the fabric, decorated with traditional golden jewellery.

Near House 45, Algerian artist Sneak Hotep displays his work entitled ‘Composure,’ inspired by the balance between provenance, appearance, doctrine and essence, while Filipino artist Mark Barretto’s piece ‘Tomorrow’ muses on the role of time; shaped in a digitalesque silhouette, it depicts a child holding a flower to represent heritage-rooted hope and aspirations. The walls of the festival also form inspiring spaces for the students of the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University, with their ‘Translations of the United Arab Emirates’ a representation of their perceptions of the nature of life in the UAE using pictorial drawings with different traditional, exploratory and practical techniques.

Sikka Art and Design Festival is also putting forth 9 outdoor installations. Under the title ‘Threads of time: weaving history on a blank canvas,’ artists Hamda Al Falahi and Reema Al Mheiri present their facade installation as a tribute to the region’s rich textile heritage and its historic trade role, while French artist Alexy Gouget presents his installation ‘Once Upon A Snack,’ diving into childhood nostalgia with an artwork series made only of LEGO bricks, depicting iconic snack brands that have become part of the local pop culture.

Emirati artist, Jassim Al Awadhi, presented his sculpture ‘The Circle,’ consisting of three figures in different colours to express his vision of the goal-orientated pursuit of renewal, while Emirati artist Rawdha Al Ketbi takes visitors to the festival on a journey through time via the installation ‘El Dreesha,’ a traditional window used as a time portal to visit the past. Through the ‘Migrant Minds’ installation, Moey Studio captures the story of immigrants who left their homeland, bringing hopes, dreams and the remains of their identity to the UAE to create a better future.

Emirati Abdullah Al Kindi presents his sculpture ‘Thigmomorphogenis’ that questions our use of horticulture in this never-ending struggle between an ecology that predates our sociological systems, and said systems attempting to bend the will of the land, while Iranian artist Ali Bahmani’s ‘Mirrorigami: Endless Reflections’ is inspired by the art of origami. Italian creative Cristian Rizzuti and Spanish artist Julian Alvarez present a captivating installation titled ‘Amnesia’ where memory comes to life; its pulse, vitality, loss and what remains of it on a circular canvas. Syrian artist Alya Ola Abbas displays her ‘Stereotype Inversion - The Meaning’, in awe of the human journey, to embody the difference and the beautiful contrast between heritage and new contemporary elements.


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