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Khawla Al-Marri: The art of heritage

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Khawla Al-Marri: The art of heritage

Dubai - Arabstoday

Awarded Artist of the Year at the 2011 Arab woman Awards in Dubai, Khawla Al-Marri has stirred a domineering art clique unlike any other. An altruistic artist, she inspires the body of youth and instigates nationalism through her oil paints and acrylic dreams.Her art is instantly refreshing, jazzed, yet submerged in Arab prominence. Her bold evocative Van Gogh strokes in “Colorful Dubai” and cultural depiction in “Women of Arabia,” sold at Christies, speak volumes about the artist. Art is the reflection of a soul, and in this case, it is libertarian. Her pop art and street art is free-spirited, thriving and full of passionate flamboyance. Born and raised in Dubai, Al-Marri was brought up in a family of writers, thinkers and readers. “Being an artist in my family was an addition that somehow completed the circle. I grew up knowing that I am the kid who could draw well.” Starting at an early age (she started painting at age seven), her Alice in Wonderland image still stirs souls of many young girls and aspiring artists. “I decided that I wanted to become a full time artist because I wanted to share what I have in mind with others and I finally did,” she said. Contemporary artists are often a challenge but her niche and criterion are hard to miss. “My aim is to create cultural and society-related art projects about my country,” she said. Al-Marri’s inspiration comes from daily life, sometimes a quote, a movie scene, or her city and people. “My biggest supports are the people who admire what I create and appreciate it,” she said passionately.  When asked what moves her soul, she replied: “What moves me most in life is a creative brain — a person\'s brain contains beautiful creative ideas.” Well aware and enlightened by the UAE’s prosperity, she deems it an honor to represent her country as a young Arab woman through numerous art projects. “I feel that a big part of me wants to create more because I basically love my land and I am truly happy of what I have done so far.” She paid tribute to the UAE\'s 40th anniversary with national art exhibited in a series featuring paintings on unusual pieces like wheelbarrows and old vintage cars — some of which were on display outside Dubai’s The Ara Gallery in Burj Plaza. Even though it has been a challenge establishing herself in the Middle East as an artist, Al-Marri said the Middle East is now coming around to embracing art. “This in itself is the ‘encouragement push,’ not just for myself, but for all Arab artists. I think it’s our duty, as Arab artists, to represent part of us. It is what we are and we are proud of it,” she said. According to Al-Marri, interest in art is growing in the Middle East and the UAE and Qatar are the forefront of cultivating this interest. “Growing interest has led these governments to create art museums and art districts in both countries. Art is a big part of culture that needs to be cherished,” she said. Al-Marri loves to travel around the world and share her Emirati heritage with other cultures. One of her most outstanding and proudly Arab works was laid out in fashion on the streets of London to link Arab passersby to their culture and to share it with the foreign country. “I took part of my culture to a foreign land with the Arabic coffee art installation I did in the streets of London,\" said Al-Marri who thought the contrast of traditional Arabic coffee in England would help people come together. Similarly, she had graffiti work splashed in colors around the city calling out: “I want coffee!” She strongly believes coffee is a link, a strong bond that connects people together. Al-Marri says that everyone is born an artist but people can develop and enhance their skills. As for all the aspiring artists out there, she has one bit of advice: “Think outside the box and learn new things every day.”

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Arab Today, arab today khawla almarri the art of heritage Arab Today, arab today khawla almarri the art of heritage


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