TALAH TURK (ABU DHABI)
Showcasing Emirati pride and environmental consciousness, Green Abu Dhabi is currently hosting the Green Art Expo 2024 at Manarat Al Saadiyat until February 22. This exhibition, held in honour of COP28, unfolds as a captivating tapestry of art and activism, aiming to revolutionise the dialogue surrounding recycling in the UAE.
Aligned with the government's COP28-focused 2023, "Generations" spotlights recycling as a pivotal challenge, and endeavours to heighten awareness of individual waste footprints to simplify recycling efforts. It serves as a testament to the nation's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while actively combating climate change.
Curated with precision by Suhail Jashanmal, the artist and curator/producer for Green Art Expo 2024, the exhibition features contributions from artists hailing from diverse backgrounds.
The artwork explores contrasting perspectives on Sustainable Development, drawing inspiration from the wisdom of the UAE's Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his profound quote: "He who does not know his Past cannot make the best of his Present and Future, for it is from the Past that we learn."
Visitors are welcomed into the exhibition by a warm greeting from Jashanmal and Almer Agmyren, Head of Strategy & Partnership, with an invitation to embark on a curated tour or explore independently. The space is thoughtfully divided into five sections: Past, Development, Present, Innovation, and Future.
A Closer Look at the Artists
A petroleum engineer and chemist, Salim Al Kaabi employs his "Sunlight Printing" technique to simulate the historical, contemporary, and future landscapes of the UAE. His pieces not only pay tribute to the UAE's Founding Father, but also narrate a story of Emirati resilience and the imperative need to protect its strong heritage.
Award-winning Austrian Multimedia Artist, Genoveva Kriechbaum, contrasts images to shed light on the difference between the UAE's past and present. Her art emphasises the deep-rooted connection locals have to their roots and heritage while stressing the importance of environmental preservation.
An up-and-coming Indian artist, Muhammed Shafi Muhammed Ali offers an "outsider looking in" viewpoint, capturing the dreams and aspirations of Indian residents in the UAE. It presents an artistic portrayal of the daily routines of workers as they pursue their aspirations in the country where dreams come true.
Anjini Prakash Laitu is an 83-year-old Indian painter who has lived a happy life in the UAE for the past 26 years. In his work, he portrays the fast-paced nature of the UAE and its ability to inspire coexistence among people of different backgrounds, emphasising the need to preserve its beauty.
Paper artist Andrew Wong employs a unique "lifting" technique, creating three-dimensional pieces that showcase illuminated hues, intricate shadows, and profound imagery. Wong's art draws attention to the UAE's diverse landscapes, emphasising the hard work and sacrifices of ancestors who derived wealth from pearls and oil. He proposes a forward-thinking idea, urging the younger generation to transform plastic into a valuable resource.
A renowned Emirati artist, Azza Al Qubaisi focuses on the desert rose, using gold and rust symbolism to emphasize the importance of preservation and realising hidden potential.
Award-winning British artist, Jasmine Pradissitto incorporates NOXORBTM, a sustainable ceramic that absorbs pollution, into her art. Her pieces underscore the UAE's strong stance on climate change and the potential to lead in sustainable practices.
Distinguished logo designer, Moosa Sultan Al Halyan's black and white pieces serve as a reminder to protect the environment and cherish heritage for prosperity.
Muralist and painter Shahul Hameed Saludheen 's vibrant paintings offer an optimistic and colourful perspective that the future is within our control, emphasising our responsibility to shape it positively.
Call for Action and Empowerment
Beyond the mesmerising artwork, the exhibition issues a compelling call for action. Jashanmal urges the public to contemplate their environmental impact and contribute to change. A significant portion of the proceeds from art sales and 100% of merchandise sales will support a recycling programme.
As the expo resonates with Emirati pride, the call for action amplifies the nation's commitment to heritage preservation, sustainable practices, and the urgent need to combat climate change. The Green Art Expo 2024 not only showcases breathtaking art but also becomes a powerful catalyst for positive change in the heart of Abu Dhabi.