+Media - Sailing in the Same Boat at #RAKFAF
160 artworks, 34 countries: RAK arts fest celebrates the world's communities
Mar 17, 2020
The Fine Arts Festival in Ras Al Khaimah is abuzz with artists from around the world showcasing their works under the theme Connected Communities. Sangeetha Swaroop explores the emirate
Some coloured strands are connected to a wooden platform in front of the suspended unravelled rug where they find themselves weaving around nails, signalling the (re)construction of a glorious past – but will it ever be the same again?
We are at the Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village, a 17th century fishing and pearling centre situated on the south-west coast of the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Dotted with a variety of compound houses ranging from simple mangrove beam-roofed buildings to ornate houses with courtyards that belonged to rich pearl merchants or traders, the Red Island, as it is more commonly known, was abandoned by its inhabitants in the early 1970s when they moved to the newly formed capital city, Abu Dhabi.
Today, the part of the town that has survived including its fort and traditional coral houses and mosque have largely been restored and forms a spectacular backdrop for the city’s annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival (RAK FAF). Currently in its eighth edition, the RAK Festival is largely seen as a champion of local talent, and serves as a platform for emerging and regional artists, photographers, and filmmakers who represent the community, and enrich our understanding of the world we live in.
This year, the festival celebrates ‘Connected Communities’ as its central theme as it seeks to explore the many ways people build relationships with others, their surrounding environments, and the natural world.
Sarajevo-born Selma Ćatović Hughes’ installation titled ‘Unravelled’ is thus an intimate look into the past, present, and future of her native Bosnia and the lives of its war-trapped citizens in the early 90’s.
‘This project was inspired by my childhood experience of the war in Bosnia,’ explains the artist. ‘Living in Sarajevo under the siege, the unravelling of our lives had its own tempo, mostly beyond one’s control. Celebrating our heritage of carpet weaving, threads become voices of memory.
‘The process of weaving takes time, ritualistic order, repetition and predetermined idea of an outcome,’ she continues. ‘On the contrary, unravelling is undoing everything the long process of weaving had accomplished but at a much faster pace.
The 160 artworks from across 34 countries featured at the 2020 edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival are built around shared spaces and commonalities, implying the genuine connection amongst communities. ‘Yet, what does community mean to all of us?’ asks Caitrin Mullan, community engagement and outreach director at the Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, which organises the event, as she leads us on a tour through the alleyways, open spaces and into the courtyards and rooms of the villas where the exhibits are displayed.
‘We found that our process and thinking behind the piece tied in with the ‘Connected Communities’ theme of the festival since it fostered a sense of community between the culturally diverse students, faculty and staff of the American University of Sharjah.’
Yet another work here that has seen the collaboration of many individuals is Aslam (Art) Noor’s ‘Sailing in the Same Boat’ that started out as a live painting project in Abu Dhabi on a four-part canvas measuring 4mx1.5m. Reinterpreting the natural shape of the UAE map as a large dhow, Noor docked it out into the sea on his vast canvas, had passengers of many nationalities climb on board with flags in hand, and dotted the coastline with both traditional and modern high rises.
Art Noor's SpiritFest99 at DFC
This year, Aslam Noor, widely known as Art Noor has set a gigantic 10m x 2m canvas at Dubai Festival City Mall, and undertaken to Live Paint not only one but 4 of those during the month of Ramadan.
Art Noor's SpiritFest99 at Dubai Festival City
This year, Aslam Noor, who widely known as Art Noor has set a gigantic 10m x 2m canvas at Dubai Festival City Mall, and undertaken to Live Paint not only one but 4 of those during the month of Ramadan.
The Ramadan inspired LED show that Noor designed and produced for Burj Khalifa depicting the divine names, which was chosen to be played on the façade of the world’s tallest tower many times in the evening, during the whole month of Ramadan.
Celebration of "The Eternal Life"
The rhythm of life is expressed through colour harmonies and contrasts. "It is a ceaseless flow. Old leaves die, new ones take their place. Emotions, passions, and vulnerabilities coexist on the canvas and across many canvases."
"Retrospective" at Studio 7 Gallery
At “ArtNoor Retrospective” visitors featured a wide genre of artworks that Noor has created, shedding light on the Artists Journey and for the first time a show has been so integrally planned to engage visitors.
For two consecutive years 2018 & 2019, Burj Khalifa showcased Art Noor's 99 Names of Allah series of paintings, via the multiple LED shows, that ran every day for the whole month of Ramadan. Noor reveals his insights in the interview with Art & Lusso.
The Inner Core
Being held at St Regis Dubai until July 2, the exhibits consist mainly of large scale works both in size and depth.Emphasising the need for learning to love one another.
Artistic Anedotes @ the Palm Dubai
Light & Love in an exhibiton of paintings by Art Noor at Sofitel. the Palm Dubai - In colleaboration of French owned Monda Gallery.
Noor Speaks to Panorama about his works and current exhibits.
Fragrance of Faith
Art Noor broke away from his highly successful corporate career in advertising in 2002 to dedicate his time to art, and more particularly, to all topics related to the Creator, and Love.
Inspired by Divinity
"One of the great lessons painting can teach you is not to be afraid of making mistakes. Every mistake is a doorway which leads to some
discovery. Every flawed attempt gets one closer to the desired outcome " Art Noor shares his process of creating.
Alive & Sublime 99
Alive and Sublime 99 shows by Art Noor – The latest Exhibition of paintings, Inspired by the glorious names of Allah at Dubai Mall and Marina Mall, have been on display through Ramadan,
Painting the Soul
Ruminiscence is a solo exhibition of thirty lyrical paintings by Art Noor, reflecting his admiration for the celebrated poet Rumi.
The paintings demonstrate the diversity of his artistic endeavours and the universality of his appeal.
The Anatomy of Fragrance
"He experiments with various styles and techniques and uses, for example, both wash and hard brushstrokes. But the spiritual dimensions of his work are selfevident, whatever the medium or technique."
Solidarity, to help rebuild Kerala
".. Art Noor, famous for his abstract paintings based on Arabic calligraphy of Allah's
beautiful names, has offered one of those paintings or the cause."
Sailing in the Same Boat at #RAKFAF
Aslam (Art) Noor’s ‘Sailing in the Same Boat’ that started out as a live painting project in Abu Dhabi on a four-part canvas measuring 4mx1.5m. Reinterpreting the natural shape of the UAE map as a large dhow, sailing with many nationalities on board.
Wings of Light
Perhaps this is what Noor’s mission is. To touch the hearts with interpretations of the divine attributes through his memorable strokes of emotion and faith and put them in touch with the sacred within.