For the first time, Dubai-based art writers, students and the art-loving public had the opportunity to understand the arts better by writing about it and through critical and insightful discussions with the experts during the first â€˜Writing about Artâ€™ workshop, held at The Shelter in Al Quoz, Dubai.
The five-month course, which comprises a series of workshops held each month by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Bidoun Projects, has 50 participants â€“ some of them students and journalists, a few art enthusiasts who plan to take up art writing as careers, and others art writers, who attend the workshop for a stronger insight on writing about art.
Serving as an â€˜informal art school,â€™ the workshops promote debate on contemporary art and facilitate linkages between artists, curators and editors based in the region and beyond.
Saeed Al Nabouda, Chief Projects Officer at the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: â€œOne of the key objectives of the Authority is to engage the community in understanding and appreciating the arts, especially with Dubai emerging as the cultural hub for the region. The first in the series of â€˜Writing about Artâ€™ workshops provided participants a unique insight into the arts and how through effective writing, it can be appreciated more by the public.â€
Artist, musician and Cairo-based critic, Hassan Khan, whose works have been selected for international exhibitions, led the inaugural workshop. Joining him in tutoring the participants over the next five months, during special weekend sessions, are Sasha Anawalt, Negar Azimi, Shumon Basar, Antonia Carver, Clare Davies, Douglas McLennan, Kevin Mitchell, Murtaza Vali, Haytham El Wardany and Kaelen Wilson-Goldie â€“ all with impressive credentials in the arts sector.
The event features small working groups of participants discussing various subjects related to writing about art including ethical considerations, analysis and a global outlook.
The next session of the course is on February 13, with Kevin Mitchell and Antonia Carver focusing on the understandings of â€˜spaceâ€™ and Islamic art and sculpture.
Upon completion of the course, participants will be presented with certificates and will be assisted in networking with regional publications, gallery directors and publishers.