Robabeh Hosseinpour, Hope, 2020. Oil colour on canvas, Letters free style (Free Art), 120 x 120 cm

In its first appearance in front of the Arab and international audiences, Khawla Art and Cultural Foundation chose Dubai Opera, an unparalleled cultural edifice in the Arab World, to present a powerful work of art that represents a true reflection of the foundation and its staff, in celebration of its first anniversary after the limitations imposed by COVID-19 this entire year.

The first exhibition portrays the foundation’s artistic and cultural activities through its interest in fine arts, whether painting, sculpture, decorative arts or Arabic calligraphy, shown in around 50 works by 40 artists from around the world.

Monzer Charaby, Aleppo of Orginality and Tarab, 2021. Acrylic colours on canvas, 112 x 152 cm
Monzer Charaby, Aleppo of Orginality and Tarab, 2021. Acrylic colours on canvas, 112 x 152 cm

The exhibition, titled Unity in Diversity, depicts the foundation’s interests in various cultural arenas, and stresses that neither language nor nationality is a barrier in the face of common goals – art is a universal alphabet used to express similar tastes and advance art and culture.

Everitte Barbee, Abyss, 2020. Fabriano Pergamanata, unbleached 320 gsm Black handmade ink; lamp black pigment with gum arabic binder in silk suspension, applied with metal nibbed and carved bamboo or reed pens, 44 x 65 cm
Everitte Barbee, Abyss, 2020. Fabriano Pergamanata, unbleached 320 gsm Black handmade ink; lamp black pigment with gum arabic binder in silk suspension, applied with metal nibbed and carved bamboo or reed pens, 44 x 65 cm

There’s a special appearance of the Sheikha’s Works, the Founder, H.H. Sheikha Khawla bint Ahmed Al Suwaidi, participated with her own calligraphy works, an art she grew up learning and mastering. Specialising in Jeli Diwani, she also created a modern and supple font that exhibits her philosophical and literary repertoire and leaves a distinct mark on her artworks.

The Sheikha’s artwork portrayed in the Foundation’s first exhibition invites the viewer to reflect on the deeper layers of meaning carried within it, and explore its beauty and mastery using the power of imagination.

The font invented by the Sheikha is free from the rules governing other fonts, combining the art of Arabic calligraphy and hurufiyya to represent different calligraphy schools, whilst being spontaneously created in the spur of the moment.

Her artwork is characterised by bold execution of words written without lifting the pen off the paper. It also features profound concepts, from faith, portrayed in verse and prose, to tolerance, in various words and colours, and spirit, which represents a large portion of the words, illustrating the search for spiritual truth through life, prayer, goodwill and gratitude for the divine.

Mohamed Mandi, There is Nothing Like Him. Ink on handmade paper with Islamic Ornamentation, 40 x 60 cm
Mohamed Mandi, There is Nothing Like Him. Ink on handmade paper with Islamic Ornamentation, 40 x 60 cm

 

 

The exhibition is a reflection of the Foundation and the esteemed Khawla’s Cultural Council, which holds since its establishment a few years back a variety of monthly cultural seminars on painting, colours, calligraphy, light and poetry. It also represents the different Arabic calligraphy schools providing certification to artists with the help of teachers who are considered calligraphy giants in the Arab World.

Hamid Kharbouchi, The Mind, 2021. Thick natural opaque paper written on it with gold, 55 x 70 cm
Hamid Kharbouchi, The Mind, 2021. Thick natural opaque paper written on it with gold, 55 x 70 cm

The Foundation dedicated a considerable section for Quran verses in different calligraphies by artists with experience in decorating mosques, palaces and domes.

Poetry and literature are far from absent from the Foundation’s plethora of praiseworthy and valuable efforts and the Council’s activities, which are aimed at stimulating a new cultural renaissance.

Unity in Diversity Exhibition is open until the 12th of October, from 10 am to 10 pm, with side events including discussions between the artists and audience, and conversations that enrich cultural diversity and resilience in the face of animosity.

Dubai Opera was chosen as the global platform for the first appearance of Khawla Foundation, fostering positive diversity and intellectual understanding, and building a culturally-rich future that speaks one common language understood by all.

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