Time is the subject of the Emirati freelance photographer Fatma Al Hashemi's first solo exhibition, 6pm in Dubai, which aims to draw viewers into spontaneous but powerful occasions. Maey El Shoush reports
Certain moments can never be recreated, which is why the Emirati freelance photographer Fatma Al Hashemi dedicates much of her creative effort to capturing spontaneous images.
Al Hashemi's first solo exhibition, 6pm in Dubai, is a collection of simple but meaningful moments of human connections.
Presented by Momentum, a speciality boutique store dedicated to vintage and classic watches, 6pm in Dubai features 27 of Al Hashemi's images, all of which can be purchased. She will donate 35 per cent of the proceeds to Emirates Autism Center, where her mother volunteers.
The 20-year-old artist, who is also a final-year graphic design student at Zayed University, uses vibrant colours and subtly incorporates timepieces into her photos, many of which feature her family members.
"I began to realise most of my time for photography was after 6pm," Al Hashemi says. "Before that I was either studying or interning, so it's the time when, for me, all the magic happens."
At the end of last year, she was interning in the graphic design department at the office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and took the exhibition's title photograph outside Emirates Towers at 6pm.
"Each day when I finished working at the prime minister's office, that was the scene I would see and I was inspired by the view, so I chose the location as the title image and featured my real friends," says Al Hashemi.
"We always remember cherished events and moments through photos. In total, I own more than 10,000 images and never delete anything I take," she says. "In fact, while working on this exhibit I lost 500 images but thankfully managed to retrieve them. It made me realise even more so the importance of time."
After she was approached by Momentum, Al Hashemi dedicated three months to the project. Each weekend, she worked an idea around a different vintage watch.
"It was a challenge but I liked that and I'm hoping people will identify with the spontaneity of the images," she said. "I took about 5,000 images and spent time with each until I was confident I had the perfect one."
Al Hashemi describes a photo she took of her brother-in-law and niece during a day out at the beach near Burj Al Arab as "very dear". Another one of her brother-in-law playing with his one-year-old son symbolises that "no matter what, he will raise his son up high and he will always support him", she says.
Another, taken at the desert in Al Khawaneej, shows him praying. "It is 6pm in the desert and the significance is [that] it does not matter the location; it is about that moment you pray," Al Hashemi says.
Her past work includes photographing speakers at a TEDx talk at Zayed University, a fitness campaign and Al Amal Camp for children with disabilities. Her images have also been featured during a 2012 UAE National Day exhibition organised by Hamdan International Photography at The Dubai Mall and at the US consul's house for the series A Typical Friday as part of an Art Dubai project.
"I love to capture portraits. I started photography when I was 13 years old when I joined a photography club and began to mingle and blend in with the crowd," she said.
6pm in Dubai is at Momentum in DIFC until 15 February. Visit www.momentum-dubai.com for more information