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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 November 2018

Create & Inspire: Emelina Soares

True Identity by Emelina Soares. A digital print that she entered to the competition. (Courtesy: Create & Inspire)
True Identity by Emelina Soares. A digital print that she entered to the competition. (Courtesy: Create & Inspire)

For the third part in our series featuring short interviews with the winners of the annual Create & Inspire competition, we speak to Emelina Leocadia Soares, who lives in Qatar. She is one of 12 winners of the contest who also hail from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the UK and were selected for their responses to this year’s competition theme: “The World is not Black & White”.

The competition, organised by The Crossway Foundation, in partnership with Art Jameel and Qatar Museums, searches for creative individuals and the prize is a two week trip to Brazil, which they are currently half way through.

Here Emelina, who is Indian and a student at Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar answers my questions:

Q: How would you describe your style as an artist?

A: As a growing artist I personally find comfort in creating works in regards to my religion, and I approach that sensitive topic abstractly. In terms of making medium the message, I enjoy working with printmaking, sculptures, and digital media.

Q: What is your main source of inspiration?

A: My initial source of inspiration was my grandfather, and now is evoked by my search for identity within society.

Q: What do you hope to gain from the Create & Inspire programme?

A: I hope to gain the opportunity to explore the impact on identity that Brazilians have experienced since the rule of the Portuguese and the introduction of African slavery. I have also learned that there are a large number of Japanese Brazilians. I have managed to relate to Brazil in many ways because the Portuguese also influnced the culture in Goa (India). The programme offers the winners to experience workshops with local artists and spend time learning about their inspirations in order to help us climb a higher step in our career.

Q: How is the trip to Brazil so far?

A: The trip is wonderful! The scenic beauty and the people are so welcoming. The language (Portuguese) is still not in my forte but I am gradually learning as I go along the trip. We have had two workshops so far. The artist Gui Mohallem allowed us to travel back in time and understand the idea of photography, while Claudio Bueno spoke to us about his interests in technology and interactive objects that stimulate human touch. Hugo Richard and Natali Tubenchlak, collaborative artists who work with inflatable objects, spoke to us about their interests in creating spaces for human interactions and welcomed us to make one of our own portable inflatable objects. They have asked us to take it along with us as a performance piece and capture images of it being used around the world. There is so much more than this, and I already feel as if the team has become a family.

* Follow Emelina on Instagram and Twitter @emelinasoares