Meet the local artists taking part in Guggenheim Abu Dhabi's first project

The famous institution is launching a virtual programme to platform local artists
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Meet the local artists taking part in Guggenheim Abu Dhabi's first project
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbo, Spain

Get ready for the most cultured collab of all time. The global museum, Guggenheim, alongside the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, is bringing local art right to your doorstep.

Currently under development, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be a sophisticated platform for contemporary art and culture that highlights the most important creative achievements of our time. From its vantage point in the Middle East, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will foster a more inclusive and transcultural view of art history, as well as spotlighting the specific identities that have derived from the cultural traditions of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

In the meantime, however, the institution has launched In the Studio, a virtual programme running until 18 August that will introduce local up-and-coming Abu Dhabi artists to the public.

Participants have been carefully selected to include both Emirati and Abu Dhabi-based creatives, and they don’t disappoint. Here is a brief run-down of the order of events:

21 July - Maitha Abdalla

For the project’s launch, artist Maitha Abdalla was interviewed in Bait 15, a studio and exhibition space she founded alongside artists Hashel Al Lamki and Afra Al Dhaheri (talk about friendship goals). Abdalla discusses her work in depth and explores the themes of folklore, memory and travel that rebound throughout her art. Emerse yourself in her artistry here

The Sacrifice Dance (2015)

28 July - Rand Abdul Jabbar 

Creator Rand Abdul Jabbar will introduce her art which traces and interprets contemporary stories from her homeland, Iraq. Discerning the artistic truth deep in the past, her work beautifully melds the personal and the museological, informed as it is by her family’s history and her extensive research into Iraq’s historical evolution.

Earthly Wonders, Celestial Beings (2019)

4 August - Hashel Al Lamki

Surveying notions of unity and separation, dualities and extremities, Hashel Al Lamki will introduce his multi-disciplinary work and his most recent projects at Bait 15. We can't wait to discover what he has in store for us.

Untitled (2015-2019)

11 August - Nasser Al Zayani

Nasser Al Zayani will exhibit his whole body of work, spotlighting in particular his skills in glass-making. Sound simple? We suggest you wait and decide after you’ve watched him literally transform sand into delicate, stereoscopic memories of places and moments.

Watering the distant, deserting the near (2017-ongoing)

18 August - Panel Discussion

To wrap up the creative project, In the Studio will organise an enlightening panel discussion featuring four artists in conversation with Guggenheim Abu Dhabi curators, Sara Bin Safwan and Sasha Kalter-Wasserman. These artistic powerhouses will discuss their work and their interests, as well as the strengths of the local arts community in the burgeoning emirate.

Maisa Al Qassimi sheds light on the aims of the project, “In the Studio is an opportunity for us to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the arts during these difficult times, when seeing art in person might not be possible for many.”

The Senior Manager expands, “We hope to continue to highlight the creativity and great work being done here in the emirate and create a sense of togetherness in the local arts community through these digital interactions.”

Access the interviews on Abu Dhabi Culture's Youtube channel.

Photos: Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Unsplash by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos