x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Young artists get big, rolling canvases

Children at four schools have drawn their interpretation of Emirati culture with seven of the images displayed on buses.

Seven children's drawings have been chosen to be enlarged and plastered on buses to promote Emirati culture and heritage. The programme was launched by Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan bin Mohammed.
Seven children's drawings have been chosen to be enlarged and plastered on buses to promote Emirati culture and heritage. The programme was launched by Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan bin Mohammed.

Many artists dream of having their work seen by thousands of people. So when the 10-year-old Fatma al Ameri saw one of her drawings blown up and wrapped around an Abu Dhabi bus, she was proud and excited. Art work by seven children was selected to be enlarged and plastered on buses as part of an initiative by Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan bin Mohammed, the wife of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Children at four schools were asked to draw their interpretation of Emirati culture. The Sheikha, an artist and collector, sifted through hundreds of submissions to choose seven images that will be displayed on the buses for two months. "I didn't know I had won until I got a phone call a few days ago," said Fatma, who attends the Halima al Sayyida School. "I didn't expect it because I didn't think it was good enough."

Her painting depicts a family sitting in the Majlis, eating dinner with their hands her preferred method of dining. Jennifer McGlennon, a spokesperson for Sheikha Salama, said the bus campaign is an attempt to encourage art and display Emirati culture to the public. "She is particularly interested in fostering art and especially public art so that the Emirati tradition and heritage can be captured and brought to the public view," Ms McGlennon said.

The seven buses will tour the city from Al Meena Shopping Centre to Zayed Sports City. The Department of Transport, the Abu Dhabi Education Council and Brand Abu Dhabi have lent support to the programme. Mariam Hasan's drawing of a traditional Emirati house was also selected. "I feel very happy," said the six-year-old, who also attends the Halima al Sayyida school. "I want to be an artist." asafdar@thenational.ae