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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 August 2018

Exploring the UAE’s coastline with art

Stephanie Neville, I’ll keep you safe 2015. Site specifc installation in Umm Al Quwain.
Stephanie Neville, I’ll keep you safe 2015. Site specifc installation in Umm Al Quwain.

A group of 10 artists who have all drawn inspiration from the vast and winding coastlines of the UAE have come together for an art exhibition set to open later this month. Mangroves, trees and plants that grow in salt water, provide migratory resting grounds for many species such as fish, birds, turtles, and crabs and are one of the most delicate elements of the UAE’s natural environment. Mangroves from the Water is an attempt to express the delicate balance between nature and human progress in a collection of various forms of art.

Zahidah Zeytoun Millie, an artist who lives and works in Umm Al Qawain and goes out kayaking in the mangroves every weekend has created a series of watercolour and acrylic paintings made during her kayaking trips. Alexis Gambis, has made a short film about a fictional character who lives in the mangroves - a still of which is pictured here and Stephanie Neville, who is interested in textile and installation art presents a site-specific installation inside the mangroves using water, mud, leaves, with added natural fibres and materials that can co-exist with the ecosystems in the mangroves. Geraldine Chansard has used the weaving technique known in the UAE as Al Sadu by extracting vegetable fibres from the mangrove seaweed, spinning them into a yarn and then drying them to a flat surface on which to paint.

The exhibition provides an interesting insight into the different takes on a treasured part of the UAE’s natural environment.

* Mangroves From The Water opens on October 22 in the Project Space at New York University, Abu Dhabi.

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