Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

Universe of Crafts: DCT Abu Dhabi invites residents to send in heirloom handicrafts to feature in exhibition

The display at Qasr Al Hosn’s House of Artisans will aim to highlight the UAE's traditions and heritage

An upcoming exhibition at Qasr Al Hosn’s House of Artisans aims to put the UAE's tradition and heritage in the spotlight – with a little help from residents of the Emirates.

As part of a heritage campaign titled Universe of Crafts, the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi is calling on Emiratis and residents to submit heirloom handicrafts to be featured in the display.

The open call for submissions will run from Friday, September 11, until Wednesday, September 30, with the aim of sourcing a wide range of artefacts and personal objects.

"The history behind the objects themselves is equally important, and the personal and family stories behind each item will be collected from their owners," DCT Abu Dhabi said in its call for submissions.

The exhibition will focus on six handicraft categories: adornments and perfumery, culinary innovation, sea crafts, pottery, archival images and Al Sadu weaving.

The last category is geometric embroidery typically practised by the Bedouin community. The art form was inscribed on Unesco's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2011.

“A large part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s cultural strategy revolves around the preservation and promotion of the emirate’s intangible heritage, safeguarding traditional Emirati practices and handicrafts and fostering pride among the younger generations by demonstrating the continued relevance of our past to contemporary life,” said Salama Al Shamsi, director of Qasr Al Hosn.

Al Shamsi said that so many traditional crafts could be found sitting in homes across the country, with such cherished objects potentially able to "shed new light on our collective past".

"By engaging and involving the community directly, we hope to gather a set of artefacts that tell a deeper, more personal story of traditional Emirati heritage, resulting in an exhibition different to anything House of Artisans has done before,” she said.

To submit an item for consideration, residents should visit qasralhosn.ae or email houseofartisans@qasralhosn.ae.

No start date for the exhibition has yet been given.

Updated: September 13, 2020 04:08 PM

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