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Artistic beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but it is only through our own hands that the full potential of our creativity can be unleashed.
With fantastic art galleries adorning all corners of the capital, Abu Dhabi is a wonderful place to immerse yourself in the art of others. But, for those who seek to cultivate as well as observe, create as well as critique, Abu Dhabi Art Hub is handing the power of artistic responsibility over to you.
The thriving culture spot not only provides a platform for both emerging and established artists from home and abroad, it also has a packed diary of workshops that allow avid art fans to try out everything from the ancient writing technique of calligraphy through to embracing Ebru art, first honed in Turkey in the 17th century.
These workshops and classes are held at the art hub’s base, the World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, throughout the week, with masters of their artistic trade drafted in to share their skills and wealth of experience with pupils of all ages, from young children and teenagers to adults. Prices for sessions, which can last for up to two hours, start at Dhs75.
The sessions offer up a truly international flavour for art enthusiasts. Residents can learn all about the Ebru marbling art, which has left such a lasting cultural legacy on the art scene in Turkey that it was registered on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on behalf of the country in 2014.
An Abu Dhabi Art Hub spokeswoman explains: “Marbling is the art of creating colourful patterns by sprinkling and brushing pigments on a pan of oily water and then transforming this pattern to paper. It is believed to have been invented in the thirteenth century in [the Central Asian region of] Turkestan. The art form then spread to China, India, Persia and Anatolia.
“New forms and techniques were perfected in the process and Turkey remained the centre of marbling for many centuries. Up until the 1920s, marblers had workshops in the Beyazit district of Istanbul, creating for both the local and European market, where it is popularly known as Turkish marble paper.”
From Turkey, we travel back in time to Ancient Greece, where the precious art of calligraphy first left an idellible mark on society. Its influence can still be seen in everything from company logos to the mosques of the UAE.
Using pens carved from fried bamboo and ink blended with ground nuts, participants try their hand at a skill going back centuries under the guidance of experts.
Calligraphy workshops are presided over by university lecturer Chukri Sidwani and Moayad Tobasee, both of whom are masters of the craft.
Arty types with designs on a career in graphic art are also well catered for. Wlodzimira Sobolewska leads a graphic design workshop, which introduces artists to the principles of design and explores the role of colour, shape and form in works.
Those taking part also learn how to create marketing materials for small businesses and design logos, business cards, booklets, flyers, posters and banners.
The hub embraces all forms of creative thought and expression – with modernity and tradition existing in perfect harmony.
Art lovers with a passion for painting can put their talents on display at a portrait workshop led by artist John Paul Federogao.
A wide variety of portrait techniques are explained and explored, from the positioning of the figure to the details of the background, the masterclass delivers a step-by-step guide to making your very own picture-perfect creation.
Whether you are looking to carve out a new career or simply want to unleash your creative passions in a welcoming environment, Abu Dhabi Art Hub truly is a hub of activity. We can’t wait to start brushing up on our skills.
From Dhs75. Art workshops and causes held daily from 10am to 9pm (90 minutes for children, two hours for teens and adults). The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (02 551 5005).