AZZA AL QUBAISI
Jewelry artist, sculptor and product designer
Azza Al Qubaisi is an Emirati jewellery artist, sculptor and product designer. She is most often referred to as the UAE’s first Emirati jewellery artist and is known for her public art engagements all year round.
Al Qubaisi is a self-represented, multi-disciplinary artist living and working between Abu Dhabi and Fujairah, who enjoys exploration and experimenting with materials and techniques focusing on local and natural materials.
Born in Abu Dhabi and educated in London, Al Qubaisi holds an MA in Cultural and Creative Industries from HCT-CERT and a BA in Silversmithing, Jewellery Design and Allied Crafts from London Guildhall.
Exhibited locally and internationally in group and solo shows, she represented the UAE in A 1,001 Steps Festival in Helsinki, Finland in 2004 and was the first artist to exhibit in DIFC in 2005. Al Qubaisi exhibited in ‘Language of the Desert’ in Abu Dhabi, ‘Three Generations’, mounted by ADMAF at Sotheby’s London and in the UAE National Day exhibition at Expo Milan 2015 and ‘Portrait of Nation’ by ADMAF in Abu Dhabi in 2016 and Berlin in 2017.
Al Qubaisi has been published in several books and publications, and her wearable art from the Life series and Bareeq Al Oudh series are published in ‘500 Earrings: New Directions in Contemporary Jewellery: 2007’ by Lark Books.
Awarded locally and internationally, she was the winner of the British Council’s YCE Award and the Emirates Women Award in the Business and Social Contributions categories.
Al Qubaisi’s creations have been exhibited around the world as ambassadors of Emirati design in many events and competitions such as H.H Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Festival, FBM Ladies Sports Academy and Camel Racing Association, Al Dhafra Festival and Million Poet.
KHULOOD AL JABRI
Photographer and painter
Khulood Al Jabri is an Emirati artist with a bachelor’s degree in Media from the College of Arts at Emirates University in 1986. From 1986 to 2006, Al Jabri worked as a fine arts teacher and freelance official responsible for exhibitions and publications design at the Culture and Arts Foundation at the Cultural Complex, Abu Dhabi.
Al Jabri has worked in the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development from 2012 to now, having many contributions to volunteer programs, arts education and exhibitions for youth. She has won many awards in youth exhibitions and competitions in the region, and she won the Best Arab Artist – L’officiel Award in 2010.
Al Jabri has had five solo exhibitions and has participated in many Arab and international workshops, exhibitions and forums in the UAE and abroad.
MATTAR BIN LAHEJ
Painter, photographer and sculptor
A second-generation Emirati artist with a distinctive signature to his paintings and a visionary and bold approach to his sculptures, Bin Lahej acquired his style that defines his work today through the exploration, understanding and nurturing of different types of fine art. This, combined with his uncompromising drive to challenge the status quo, to challenge what is accepted and to bring new perspectives to the fore in a compelling way, has enabled his audiences to look at culture, language and form through a new lens.
Bin Lahej’s talent is in delivering creative individuality, not universal solutions, to design. He approaches his work from a hands-on, deeply personal craft perspective. Whether using canvas, metal or wood, he creates works of art that foster better intellectual and emotional connections between the object and its audience.
Mattar Bin Lahej today is part of the architectural culture of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates through projects carried out with select developers such as The Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah Group – Al Naseem Hotel; Dubai Future Foundation – Museum of the Future and the Martyrs Monument.
Bin Lahej is also the founder and owner of Marsam Mattar. Founded in 1991, Marsam Mattar has contributed to enriching the art movement in the UAE by supporting both established artists and new talents, and today Lahej is considered one of the most influential figures in the art scene in the UAE.
Among his most prominent sculptures are Power of Words, Forgiving Moons, Encyclopedia, Fusion, Emission, Dying Language, Waves, The eye of Arabic Calligraphy, Icon of Dubai Tram Opening (Balance), Icon of Civil Aviation (Arabic Roots) in Canada, Folding Proverbs (USA), Atom in the International Atomic Energy Agency (Switzerland) and more.
Designer, maker and educator
Michael Rice is an Irish artist, designer, maker and educator who specializes in ceramics. His work is concerned with surface, texture, natural geometry, gestalt principals and archetypal forms.
Rice has a degree in Fine Craft Design, a postgraduate certificate in education (art and design), and a master’s degree in multi-disciplinary design. He exhibits internationally and has undertaken artist residencies in the UK, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, UAE and Indonesia.
Michael is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics based in Geneva and is the IAC UNESCO representative for the UAE. As a writer, he has published articles in the UK-based ‘Ceramic Review’ and the Australian ‘Ceramics Art and Perception’.
He regularly receives invitations to speak about his work and has given presentations in leading Universities and institutions worldwide including the University of Ulster in the UK, Rhode Island School of Design in the US and New York University in Abu Dhabi.
In 2016, he exhibited as a finalist in the Taiwan Ceramic Biennale at the Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taipei and was the runner-up in the Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Designer Prize. He was a finalist in the Korean Ceramic Biennale 2019 and has again been selected as a finalist for the Taiwan Ceramic Biennale in 2020. He is also a finalist in the KOGEI Award in Toyama, Japan in 2021.
Michael is the Chair of the Visual Communication Department and an Associate Professor of Studio Art at the American University in Dubai.
Sculptor and installation artist
Mohamed Yousif received his BA in Fine Arts in 1978 from the College of Fine Arts (Cairo); an MFA in Fine Arts from Webster University (St. Louis, US); as well as a PhD in Fine Arts from Manav Rachna International University (Faridabad, India). He is now Assistant Professor at the College of Fine Arts and Design, University of Sharjah. He is recognized as a founder of the Sharjah National Theatre as well as one of the founding artists of the Emirates Fine Arts Society. He has participated in numerous exhibitions, highlights of which include two inclusions in The National Pavilion of the UAE at the Venice Biennial (2015, 2017); Language of the Desert at the Kunstmuseum (Bonn, Germany, 2005), the Bangladesh Biennial (First Golden Prize, 2004); The 5th New Delhi Biennial, India (1982); and many other exhibitions throughout the UAE.
Najat Makki is an artist who cared about the colour and formal rhythm and focused in technical assistance on the symbolic expressive style as time and space had a direct and strong presence at the beginning of her artistic career, and over time she takes another curve through the elements of formation and their connection with each other in a harmonious rhythmic abstraction. Many experiences emerged from her The phosphorescent experience that I started in 1989 in the first exhibition that was hosted by Al Wasl Club in Dubai, while women have their direct and strong presence in technical assistance …..
I graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1982 and obtained a PhD in Fine Arts in 2001, from the same college, participated in local, Arab and international exhibitions, held in the International Arts City in Paris for a period of four months with the support of the Emirates Foundation for Social Benefit in 2012, During her presence, she ran out of a number of experiments and artistic workshops, in addition to another experiment, which is the marriage of poetry and shaping with a French poet. She also obtained an artistic residence for three weeks in the city of Desseldov (Germany) to implement several experiments in silk printing
The Emirates have been represented in international forums through exhibitions and artistic workshops in: China – France – America – Cairo – Korea – Syria – The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – Kuwait – Morocco – Kingdom of Bahrain – Sultanate of Oman – Syria – Kingdom Saudi Arabia – Algeria – Sweden – Sudan – Qatar – Iraq – Belgium – Spain – Moldova – Montenegro – Poland – Cyprus – Greece
Supervised many programs and technical forums
Obaid AlBudoor is an Emirati photographer, artist and visual storyteller. Perpetually chasing sunrises and sunsets in untouched parts of Arabia, he is a traveler and lover of nature and the outdoors who seeks to immerse himself within the grandeur of the world. All his artistic efforts drive him to pursue the awe-inspiring envelopment of the sublime.
Obaid has created a variety of photographic and video content across multiple genres for some of the biggest commercial entities and tourism boards, both artistically and commercially. He has participated and hosted shows on National Geographic Arabia and displayed his artwork at various venues in the UAE.
Patricia Millns FRSA is an artist, advisor and mentor. She holds a BA Hon Fine Art and MA in Art and Design History. Her studio has been based in the Middle East for over 38 years, and her practice is based on identity and cultural significance defined through clothing, adornment and the olfactory heritage of the region.
She is an elected Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts London and serves on the advisory boards of the American University of Dubai and the Zayed Giving Initiative and a member of IAPA and UNESCO.
Patricia has represented the UK at the United Nations New York, Women of the World and the Sharjah and Cairo Biennials. Millns’ is in the collections of the United Nations UNIFEM, the British Museum, the British Council, the British Commonwealth Society, the Windsor, Bulgari, Salsali, and Sainsbury collections, and the National Museum Collections regionally.
SAGGAF AL HASHIMI
Painter and muralist
Saggaf Al Hashimi is a self-taught artist who was born in Al Ain city, UAE. His interest in drawing began in primary school in the nineties until he grew until he became a part-time artist in his free time. His motivation and vision in art is to spread peace and tolerance through unique artwork. His inspiration comes from local achievements, UAE culture, Islamic history and a passion for Arabian horses in imaginative expressive movements. Saggaf relies on cross-hatching techniques (merging lines) to have better control in creating the shades and details of an art piece. His murals can be seen along Abu Dhabi and Dubai roads, and he has participated in many art exhibitions in the UAE and other gulf countries. He has been commissioned by private collectors and organizations and is currently conducting art workshops at art and culture centres and online.
SUMAYYAH AL SUWAIDI
Sumayyah Al Suwaidi is a multiple award-winning Emirati artist based in Abu Dhabi. Her passion for digital art started in 1996 and, in 2001 she launched her first collection inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. She begins each piece with a sketch or a simple photograph combining textures, colours and contrasts that make her creations unique and invaluable. Her first exhibition was in 2003 in Abu Dhabi, showcasing amongst many of the UAE’s pioneer artists. Shortly after, she began to exhibit her work in various galleries all over the UAE, London, USA, China, France, Germany, Switzerland, Morocco and Kuwait. Her work was auctioned by Christie’s in 2012 as part of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art Part II and exhibited at Sotheby’s Galleries in London in the Three Generations exhibition in 2013.