Hind Khalid Al Qahtani among talented women painters and photographers
Inspired by the death of a close friend, Emirati artist displays her photography work at Zayed University
From photography and paintings to sculptures, Emirati women artists have displayed their work in a new exhibition at Zayed University's Dubai campus.
Sheikh Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance and President of Zayed University, was among those to attend the unveiling this week.
Among the exhibits is an image of four moons by Hind Khalid Al Qahtani, who was inspired by the death of a close friend earlier this year.
“Art fills blank spaces with feelings. Whether the art comes from a place of pain or of joy, it can be very powerful,” said Ms Al Qahtani.
“The painting that is showcased in today’s exhibition is about a friend of mine died of cancer. She was a teacher and was surrounded by students. She used to call herself 'moon' and students around 'her stars'. She died four months ago and that why I painted four stages of the moon.
“My friend suffered from uterine cancer and each moon represents how much I miss her and the period of time that we have been are apart from each other. Also, the moon is far away, just like here."
Ms Al Qahtani splits her time between working as a theme park assistant manager at Dubai Parks and Resorts and professional artist work.
“Art is a mixture of feelings and emotions on papers," she said. Her parents encouraged her and to move into paintings and sculptures.
"Each person reflects or describes the paintings according to his/her character and experiences. There is always a connection between the artist and the person viewing their work.
“I would like to urge every talented person who would like to pursue a career in art - and is not being supported - to chase your dream.”
Arabic calligraphy artist Narjes Noureddine, 42, also has work on display at the exhibition.
She studied under one of renowed masters of calligraphy, Khaled Al Saai and she seeks to bring it to public consciousness. Her calligraphy artworks, modern paintings and sculptures decorate many projects around the UAE.
Her journey as an artist began as a child under the tutelage of her father, a carpenter.
"I used to work with him when I was a child. At that time, the machines that were used for carpentering and carving wood were manual and very basic.
“I used to draw portraits of people and later on I started to do calligraphy. I admired the Arabic font and texts and took classes in Arabic calligraphy art in Sharjah. Then, I displayed my calligraphy work in an exhibition in Sharjah organised by the Ruler of Sharjah.
“I am very passionate. Arabic calligraphy has been always a major part of our visual art language.
Among the first to view the exhibition was Sheikha Lubna.
“Zayed University recognise the huge value of arts to society," she told The National at the launch.
"Many graduates from this university have developed art projects that can be used in different fields of the society. Art can be used in different fields and forms.”
Sheikha Lubna said that there are many career opportunities for women in the emirates today.
“There are Emirati women engineers in the nuclear energy, others manufacturing of aircraft parts, and career opportunities for Emirati artists," she said.
“And there are Emirati women who participated in sport competitions, winning medals abroad.
"This indicates the country’s vision in empowering women and supporting their career choices."