This week, more than 20 local artists will present their interpretation of Arab culture and visuals of the Emirates in an exhibition at the Ahmadiya Guest House. The exhibition titled Against the Tides, which runs from Wednesday to Saturday, is an initiative by the advocacy and networking group Woman 2 Woman and aims to give up-and-coming artists a platform to share their work with the public.
"This year we decided to choose the theme of this beautiful Arab land and the vibrant culture of the Emirates," says Zareen Khan, a partner at Woman 2 Woman which is organising the show for the fourth year.
"The venue for this event is ideal for the theme as well. The guesthouse is located in the heart of Deira, Dubai, next to Al Ahmadiya School, which recently celebrated 100 years. We will be surrounded by the light of culture, education and art."
Khan says the exhibition will also help to draw attention to the historical significance of the neighbourhood. "It is a very special area and people do not often visit it. These places are lost in the constant rise of new hotels and other tourist destinations."
Artists displaying their work include Harpreet Oberoi, who traded a job in the aviation industry to become a full-time artist; Abeer Ayash, who uses art for therapy; and Manisha Andrade, who specialises in painting Emirati life and culture. The British artist Elizabeth Mary Bruce records Arabian life as she perceives it on a day-to-day basis in her artwork and Wael Hamadeh, with his Arab roots, will showcase some of his boldest pieces on the Arab region.
"A lot of times artists from the Arab region can only raise their political views through art and that is what visitors will experience."
There will be a live voting system at the event on the last day of the exhibition. Art lovers can rate the works, based on which a winner will be selected and offered a solo exhibition at the Ahmadiya Guest House, which houses an art gallery.
- Entry to the show is free. Timings are from 4pm to 9pm on Wednesday and after that from 11am to 8pm until Saturday. More information about the artists can be found on https://www.facebook.com/AgainstTheTidesArtists