x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Emirati artists and designers showcased at O'de Rose

O'de Rose is showcasing the work of 16 artists and designers as part of its Local On Board initiative. We speak to three designers specialising in home decor to find out what sets them apart.

Work of Fatma Al Mulla of FFM as part of O'de Rose Boutique's initiative called Local on Board that features several Emirati designers and their designs. ANTONIE ROBERTSON / The National
Work of Fatma Al Mulla of FFM as part of O'de Rose Boutique's initiative called Local on Board that features several Emirati designers and their designs. ANTONIE ROBERTSON / The National

In keeping with its efforts to encourage and support regional talent, O'de Rose has launched the Local on Board initiative, a showcase of 16 up-and-coming Emirati artists and designers. The designers will be displaying their work - which includes everything from fashion and jewellery to photography and accessories - in the boutique until May 24. Here, three designers who specialise in home decor tell Selina Denman about their work, their inspiration and what sets them apart

Abdulla Al Muhaideb, founder, Comma

I am an Emirati architect who is passionate about interiors, design and the creative process that goes behind any project or product.

Years ago, I started collecting architectural books and interior design magazines. I was constantly amending and studying floor plans, and imagining how they would look in reality and in what ways they could be enhanced - still a favourite hobby.

Comma was born while we were working on one of our architectural projects and looking for those one-of-a-kind accessories, pieces that make a space stand out. Limited by what the market had to offer, we had to deviate and customise those items that tie a home together and make it unique.

We enjoyed the journey and the outcome that accompanied that creative process. Thus, Comma was brought to life and features out-of-the-ordinary home accessories and cushions with fabrics sourced from around the globe.

We also create made-to-order pieces to complement different homes and environments. Each piece is fun yet stylish and carries great attention to detail. The cushions we currently hold are colourful, patterned and fun, and reflect different cultures and ethnicities in unique ways. All items are produced locally, while some materials and fabrics are acquired from abroad, through my travels and trips. We gather different tastes and flavours and inject them into a single item or product to create a look that is interesting, fun and global.

The products reflect Emirati culture in a very unique way. Emirati traditions have borrowed design elements, decorative arts and materials from rich cultures and civilisations that local people used to deal with.

Being a central trade station between the East and West, those elements and materials came from cultures like India, Mesopotamia and Persia, and together they created local Emirati design elements.

What we do now is somewhat the same, with a slightly wider range of cultures and richer elements, yet treated in a very modern way to introduce a new "global" Emirati culture - with the same mix of elements and cultures.

Everything we look at, see, remember and store in our visual memory creates the basis of inspiration for everything we do - we call it our mental library of inspiration.

Ÿ For more information, see Instagram (Hamad Al Falasi, photographer and founder, ZUKRF

I have a bachelor's degree in medicine and a master's degree in healthcare management.

After starting my digital photography in 2005, I have showcased my work at several venues and exhibitions.

I have won a number of prestigious photography awards locally and internationally, including the International Emerging Artist Award organised by Fn Design, in which I won in the Emirati category with a photo series called Emirati Colloquialism. The prize was to have an international roadshow in Singapore, Turkey and France to showcase my artwork.

Art and design have always fascinated me. However, I hadn't taken any serious steps towards pursuing this passion until July 2012, when I took courageous steps and started my own design label called ZUKRF. ZUKRF specialises in providing artistic solutions to product designs such as furniture and household accessories.

ZUKRF products focus on applied calligraphy and artistic patterns. Our company addresses personalised needs by providing artistic solutions that are customised to match people's tastes. We bring life to still products. All the pieces are designed by myself and produced locally.

Our uniqueness is in applying a sense of art to the usual home accessories. The market is plethoric with typical commercial goods. However, people are looking for one-of-a-kind items with a personal touch, and this is what we provide.

Most of the products are positioned to serve the local market and our items can easily be spotted in many Emirati households.

Ÿ For more information, see Instagram (Fatma AlMulla, founder, FFM

I come from a very open-minded family, the daughter of two parents who pushed me to be all that I can be.

I graduated at 16 from high school and continued my studies at the American University of Sharjah, where I attained a bachelor of science in visual communication.

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated with art and design. After graduation, I spent a lot of time reading books, travelling and visiting museums.

When I returned, I started illustrating and posting on my blog. After a period of time, people started tweeting me, asking me to put my illustrations on merchandise that they could buy.

Ever since I can remember I have had an interest in design, however I'm thankful for my curiosity because it helped me create my pop culture Khaleeji label, FMM by Fatma AlMulla. My products consist of T-shirts, phone covers, different sized cases, mugs, abayas, acrylic tables and notebooks. My illustrations reflect social and cultural affairs in Emirati society.

What makes my designs stand out is the attention to detail. The tongue-and-cheek factor in my illustrations differentiates my designs as they address cultural and social aspects of Emirati society. I am inspired by travelling, social affairs, trends and the people around me and my society.

For more information, visit fatmaalmulla.wordpress.com

sdenman@thenational.ae

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