Installations based on sustainability and recycling

A journey into the heritage of the Emirati "neighborhood" through colored lights

  • The shop, the mosque, and the hammock transformed through lighting into installations.

    Photography: Ahmed Arditi

  • Seven artists, both Emiratis and residents, participated in the execution of the works.


An exploration trip with a view of Emirati life, its heritage and its ancient neighborhoods, which takes us to the installations that were designed from the lights in the "neighborhood" event, which was launched recently within the activities of the Dubai Shopping Festival, on Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard.

The shop, the mosque, the hammock and the majlis are all elements of the Emirati memory, and they have been transformed through lighting into synthetic works that reflect the culture in all its details.

Seven artists, both Emirati and residents, participated in the implementation of the works, who worked on it collectively, from recycled materials, using decorative lights that were used in the festival decorations in previous years.

The project includes a group of innovative and sustainable lighting models that took four months to prepare, and was implemented in cooperation with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, where the authority worked on selecting the artists who would participate in the implementation of the works.

The project derives its concept from the heritage and rich history of homes, traditions and Emirati culture, which makes it able to create a dialogue between the past, the heritage and the civilized face of the city, starting from the exhibition site in the center of Dubai, where the urban and civilizational aspect, and the prominence of the progression through its most famous landmarks, which is' Tower successor".


Emirati artist Fatima Al-Awadi participated in the project with a group of artists, and spoke to Emirates Today about her participation, saying: “This event is held for the first time, and the aim was to create compositional works of lights in the middle of the city, characterized by Emirati culture, so that traditional and heritage life appears illuminated. In the city center".

Al-Awadi considered that collecting work-related pieces was a group work that carried a lot of brainstorming, and that is why the majlis was invented in the beginning, being the most expressive of culture, and then the mosque that brings people together in a spiritual experience, to complete the business with the groceries that carry all childhood memories, which She also consecrated in another work, which is the hammock, as ideas were directly in contact with people's lives and diaries, especially within the neighborhoods, culture and environment of the UAE.

Al-Awadi talked about the method of working on the installations, noting that it was relying on creating sustainable artworks through re-used lit materials, which posed a major challenge for artists working on artistic installations, noting that it was the first time that she worked in a group and a team, and it was A distinguished experience on many levels, especially since the cooperation carried a lot of cooperation, in addition to that it opens the way for the artist to get acquainted with new ideas, as well as getting acquainted with new artists.

Al-Awadi noted that the experience of working with the Dubai Shopping Festival carries a lot of fun and addition to the artist, especially since the works are placed in public places, and make people in direct contact with them.

The innovation challenge

For his part, the Egyptian artist Ahmed Geisa participated in the work on the installation works, and pointed out that the main challenges that accompanied the work were to reuse the materials presented to the artists, in a completely different way from their previous form and condition, which put the artists in front of a challenge to create new works from these Materials.

Jeisa pointed out that his life in the Emirates made him able to engage in work, which directly reflects the history and culture of the Emirates, because he is accustomed to seeing these details.

He noted that direct contact with culture, even if the artist carries a different cultural dimension, makes him able to engage in its general atmosphere and transmit it to the public, explaining that interest in culture sometimes is sufficient to present artistic works on it, so presenting arts related to culture and succeeding in communicating them to the audience depends on the artist. And on his vision and the way he presents his work.

As for the group work, he pointed out that this experience was the best, because each artist had a special vision, and therefore the work was rich in experiences and ideas that add to each artist from among the participants.

As for the site of the event, which is lit in all its details, and the challenge to highlight works made of light in the midst of all these lights, Jeissah pointed out that this matter created a new challenge for artists, because it was possible for the audience to confuse the matter, and thus it is difficult for them to distinguish between installation artworks and adornments. This is why the technical installations have been independently presented, and placed in a framework that makes them separate, even if they appear in the general form, integrated with the street atmosphere.

Emirati heritage

Mona Al Falasi, Deputy Director of Planning and Events Department at the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, spoke to "Emirates Today" about the "Neighborhood" event, and said: "This event is based on innovation and creativity, and it also embodies the partnership with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and Emaar." The participation of a group of Emirati and Arab artists from the emerging category, who worked on designing works from elements that narrated the Emirati heritage through the neighborhood, and highlights the landmarks that people lived in in the past.

Al Falasi pointed out that the elements in the artworks are related to the memory of the Emiratis, and they are all works based on recycling, noting that "Dubai Culture" contributed to selecting the appropriate artists to implement the works, and among them were artists specialized in photography, some of whom specialized in lighting.

Fatima Al-Awadi:

“An outstanding experience

Open up the field

Getting to know ideas

And new artists ».

Ahmed Jeissah:

"The challenges were to use the materials in a different way from their previous form."

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