Tolerance-inspired art creations: 10 bests from SIKKA 2019

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Very few events in the world, let alone in the region, bring artists together in such a vibrant, cultural cadre that is infused with heritage and invites artists, locally and internationally, to inspire and enlighten visitors. SIKKA Art Fair consistently embraces the artistic talent inherent in people and showcases their skills for the world to see and celebrate. The fair this year features an exciting line-up of art exhibitions and installations, visual and performing art sessions, music and film screenings, workshops, poetry and talks, alongside home-grown food pop-ups and fun activities for children.

Every year, the Fair comes with an exciting list of artists and performers, who light up an entire week of the Dubai Art Season. SIKKA Art Fair supports Dubai Vision 2020, by promoting cultural tourism, and also caters to the UAE leadership’s broader aim to bring happiness to the community, by building a vibrant and sustainable multi-cultural society and supporting the establishment and development of creative industries. Now in its ninth year, the fair is effervescent and inspiring as always — but with a significant message. Themed ‘An open window to art and tolerance’, SIKKA this year is soaked in the national celebration of the value of tolerance.

Under this year’s theme, SIKKA brings together a selection of artists who have developed their artistic research around the theme and in support of the Year of Tolerance 2019. We round up 10 bests at SIKKA that embody diversity and acceptance as their central notion and celebrate the spirit of Year of Tolerance.

  1. The Weave of Life is an enchanting art installation and a loom-ing performance by Mioara Cherki and Fleur Hindermeyer. The performance is a 30-minute unforgettable and magical experience, that sends out a message of inclusiveness and acceptance. It is a mixed-media installation composed of 5 works by Mioara as a painter, by progressive woollen thread weaving between the walls of the room, and by a video attesting the previous steps of the progressive weaving. It is an art-performance, that turns this installation into a work-in-progress. Fleur performs slow movement dance on an original soundtrack, so that to weave little by little the threads in the room, while Mioara goes on the repetitive writing on the walls, creating an immersive experience.
  2. Has it been hard to associate the protectors of law with the freedom of art? Not anymore. SIKKA brings out the artistic side of Dubai Police, the first police art gallery in the world, showcasing artworks made by police officers using material from their every-day life. It is an exemplary effort of connecting people with the artists that otherwise they see as mere police officers.
  3. House 29 of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood presents One Humanity, in the spirit of Year of Tolerance. The illustrations selected by Baroness Angela Von Berger from her famous celebrity cookbook in collaboration with artist Sacha Sosno and graphic photographer Ralph Hutchings, are sure to engage you and connect you to the variety that exists around the world.
  4. Patterns from Alhambra by Jaber Al Haddad, an Emirati artist, is an epitome of inclusiveness and acceptance. The interactive artwork by the artist will be completed by the visitors of SIKKA, who will be invited to draw a very complex and famous Islamic geometric pattern from the Alhambra Palace by using strings (string art).
  5. Kapil Bhimekar, paints a mural for SIKKA this year. An artwork that is a tribute to the people of UAE, who live here, work here, and make this city what it is. The creation connects people of different nationalities and backgrounds in a captivating manner.  A worthy tribute to the Year of Tolerance.
  6. A collector of scents by Jumaanah Alhashem is an art installation that will take you through a sensory journey into the history of scents and perfumes in the UAE thereby offering a rare chance to the visitors to explore the historic significance of incenses in the Emirati Culture. What better way of connecting people to the culture of the country they live in – one of the most inventive techniques of spreading the fragrance of tolerance that UAE society has exemplified since centuries.
  7. A fifth time returning artist Khawla Dharwish sculpts Equilibrium for SIKKA. The sculpted piece provokes the viewers’ mind and thoughts and entices them to think about the core meaning of life and how in balance one can reach harmony – which is only reflected through tolerance with others on all levels of humanity.
  8. Future Designer by Nora Zeid and MariAM Alzayani is a subtle way of connecting people of all cultural backgrounds with the means of Augmented Reality and show how the power of technology can bridge cultural gaps. The installation is an audio-visual experience, connecting people, regardless of their age and background, all while making them ponder on the topic of the artwork.
  9. Sidroh, a monument of us by Emirati artist Ameena Aljarman is a blend of photography and sewing pieces and a video projection. The artworks under this are part of an ongoing documentation project of Sidroh area in Ras Al Khaimah. It is a presentation of a sentimental attachment to space, objects and unseen links – which are some elements that remain same for people across the world. People can relate to other areas around the world thereby strengthening the value of oneness among all and hence tolerance.

I.M.Perfection by Selma Catovic Huges highlights the inner beauty of human beings defying the physical, cultural, and social barriers that separate us – hence fostering a sense of tolerance and acceptance in the community. It explores the fine line between the literal and phenomenal beauty, creating transformations from plain to desirable. For SIKKA, the installation opens up the dialogue and emphasizes the need to transform the mundane routine of our lives into a phenomenal beauty. It challenges the viewer to reflect on a moment, self-appreciation, and a deeper meaning of life. When we embrace our flaws, weaknesses and differences, our imperfection transcends the subtlety in our identity.  

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