x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Emerging artistic talent in the UAE

Works of sand art win the International Emerging Artist Award and a photographic artist scoops the Emirati prize.

Hamad Al Falasi is the winner of the Emirati segment of the Emerging Artist Award. Delores Johnson / The National
Hamad Al Falasi is the winner of the Emirati segment of the Emerging Artist Award. Delores Johnson / The National

The box of sand in Pablo de Laborde Lascaris’s studio was completely overlooked until he split it and the grains seeped into everything including his camera, which broke because of it. It was only then he realised the fluidity of the seemingly solid material and began to incorporate it into his work.

“Most of my work questions the static representation of sculpture and I am interested in the relationship we have with time. Sand works on both these levels.”

The result was Rings to Grain, a carefully crafted wooden box which sand falls through and creates a base. The idea was developed in The Weight of a Choice, a performance piece and video where de Laborde Lascaris holds a glass tube of sand on his shoulders and mechanically moves in time with church bells as the grains slide from one end to the other.

These works, compiled in a portfolio, were unanimously voted as the best among 1,500 others entered for the second annual International Emerging Artist Award (IEAA) and de Laborde Lascaris, of Mexican origin and living in the UK, was announced the winner of the competition last night in a ceremony at FN Designs in Alserkal Avenue.

“I’m over the moon,” said the artist of his achievement. “It will open up a whole new collection of experiences for me.”

After the exhibition in Dubai, the work will travel to Singapore and Istanbul before being added to the agenda for the Marseille-Provence, 2013 European Capital of Culture show in France.

Hamad Al Falasi, a photographic artist from Dubai who is also a government employee, was also awarded as the winner of the Emirati segment. His three photographs and sculpted calligraphy entitled Emirati Colloquialisms takes words and phrases from the local dialect and immortalises them in art. Al Falasi said that winning the award was the “most striking experience of his life” and he hoped it would help to preserve the intangible elements of his culture.

• The Second International Emerging Artist Award Winners’ Exhibition will run at FN Designs, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, until March 31