x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Exhibition to draw work from across Middle East

An exhibition of drawings from across the Middle East is to be staged to coincide with a major international conference at the American University in Dubai.

DUBAI // An exhibition of drawings from across the Middle East will be staged to coincide with a major international conference on the subject.

It is one of two shows to be presented alongside Crossing the Line, an interdisciplinary event to be held at the American University in Dubai (AUD). Organisers say the conference will be the first of its kind in the region and it will be open to the public.

The university decided to focus on drawing for the November exhibition because of the growing prominence the art form has achieved in recent years.

"Over the last decade, maybe longer, the status of drawing has risen significantly from just a study or sketch to a finished work of art … a powerful medium that visualises thought," said Dr Julia Townsend, an associate professor at AUD's department of visual communication and one of the organisers.

"We hope to attract architects, engineers, designers, cartoonists and others to involve people beyond the world of fine art."

Dr Marcelo Guimaraes Lima, a professor of art history at the university, is another of the organisers. "We believe that the diversity of disciplines and points of views will allow for a larger pattern to emerge, and will fill the gaps in our knowledge and in our imagination," Dr Lima added.

He will be one of four keynote speakers. The others will be the Tunisian artist and designer Nja Mahdaoui; Prof Stephen Farthing from the University of the Arts London; and Dr Irene Barberis, the founder and director of the global centre for drawing and senior academic at the school of art at RMIT University in Australia.

AUD is hosting the conference, which will run November 1 to 3, in partnership with Dubai's Tashkeel art centre and RMIT.

The on-campus exhibition will feature black and white prints from across the region, and a second show of works from the UK and Australia will take place at Tashkeel.