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Artists from UAE, region find spotlight at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Artists from UAE, region find spotlight at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair
3 May 2024 08:59

MAYS IBRAHIM (ABU DHABI)

The 33rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) has provided a venue for both emerging and established artists across the UAE and elsewhere in the wider region to bring their creative talents to light.

The ADIBF kicked off on Monday, under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the event is a melting pot of cultural exchange and knowledge dissemination, hosting 1,350 publishers from 90 countries.

Arabic Calligraphy Among the artists displaying their works at the ADIBF is Khadijah Alhosani, a retired Emirati teacher, turned formative artist and calligrapher. Following her retirement, she decided to sign up for art workshops of all types, until she found her true “passion” in calligraphy, incorporating it into unique formative artworks of her making.

Alhosani’s artistic inclinations were always present in her classrooms during her teaching years, as she utilised creative techniques to make the learning process for her students more fun and engaging. She currently uses art as an outlet for self- expression, adding beauty to the world through strokes of graceful lettering.

“I have always been fascinated by the beauty of calligraphy, and the precision involved in its creation process, ever since I was a little girl. I tried so many different types of art over the years, but nothing beats Arabic calligraphy; it’s where I found myself,” Alhosani told Aletihad.

She currently has her own art workshop at home, where she spends hours at a time creating. “It’s my favourite thing in the world to do; I never get bored no matter how long I’m in there,” she remarked.

Alhosani gives Arabic calligraphy training workshops and displays her work on social media and in art exhibitions in the UAE and elsewhere in the region.

Live Wood Carving Rabi Qarouni, a Syrian formative artist residing in the UAE, is showcasing his skills live for the visitors of the ADIBF through carving out representations of the UAE’s desert life on wood.

“Carving is one of the oldest art forms to ever exist. It’s how civilisations traditionally passed on their stories, so I thought it would be fitting to tell one of the many stories of the UAE through carving,” he told Aletihad.

Feline InspirationTahani, an aspiring Emirati artist, likes to introduce herself as “the crazy cat lady”, unapologetically embracing her love for cats.

“When people see my artworks, they often ask me: Why do you like cats so much? And to that I say, how can I not? This exhibition was an opportunity for me to pour my love for books and cats, my two favorite things in the world, into cute unique artworks,” she told Aletihad.

Tahani began her artistic journey when she was going through a rough patch; art gave her the perfect therapeutic outlet. “Art is very soothing; the focus it requires allows me to forget about everything and let go of all fears and anxieties,” she noted.

Her displayed art at the ADIBF takes the form of pins, bracelets, key chains, book-shaped storage containers, and crochet miniatures.

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