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Bodour Al Qasimi opens two new exhibitions

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), has opened two new exhibitions, titled “Consciousness in Flux. Faig Ahmed” and “Hard Edges. Khalid Al Banna” at the Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah – a non-profit creative initiative by Shurooq that supports the region’s emerging and established artists. Both exhibitions will be running until 1st August 2024.

The opening ceremony was attended by the CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), His Excellency Ahmed Al Qaseer, as well as notable dignitaries from the art and culture sector of the UAE. In addition, representatives of the in-kind supporter Air Arabia for the exhibition on Faig Ahmed were present.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi toured the two exhibitions, “Consciousness in Flux” by Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed, who is renowned for his conceptual hand-woven artworks that utilise traditional carpets as well as the exhibition “Hard Edges” by Emirati artist Khalid Al Banna, the artist’s first institutional show in the UAE.

Consciousness in Flux. Faig Ahmed Curated by Cima Azzam
Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed showcases his conceptual artworks that mainly utilise carpet-making techniques to transform traditional carpets into visually tantalising contemporary pieces. These carpets are embedded within a vast, century-long history that involves techniques passed down from generation to generation.

The newly commissioned artwork Consciousness in Flux investigates another dimension in Faig Ahmed’s most current, research-based work that explores the physiological and psychological mechanisms of perception. This digital piece unravels the intricacies of art’s impact on the human experience via a data-driven head device that measures a visitor’s brain activity in real-time while observing the artist’s works in the exhibition. Consciousness in Flux is presented through multiple screens visualising digitised brain patterns accompanied by corresponding sounds. This creates an immersive atmosphere where participants become active collaborators and co-authors of the artwork.

Air Arabia has contributed to the exhibition Consciousness in Flux. Faig Ahmed, with in-kind support.

“Hard Edges”. Khalid Al Banna Curated by Cima Azzam
Hard Edges is Emirati artist Khalid Al Banna’s first institutional solo show in the UAE. The exhibition explores collage-based constructions created from daily observations of an ever-changing home surrounded by various landscapes and enriched by the artist’s vivid imagination.

As a trained architect, Khalid Al Banna views the world from a different lens, revealing layers of simplified geometric forms intersecting and overlapping – stacks of squares, whirling circles, and cones in a constant state of transformation. All together, they create narratives that speak of a shifting landscape, often referring to his own childhood in Sharjah and his perception of architectural housing in the 1980s. In addition, many fantastical forms and creatures are invented here, the viewer can observe bird-like shapes amidst imaginative figures that act as inhabitants of Khalid Al Banna’s abstract worlds.

The exhibition Hard Edges also marks a shift in Khalid Al Banna’s practice as he experiments with scale and three-dimensionality for the first time, displaying a number of sculptures and metal reliefs, whilst maintaining his distinctive artistic signature.

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