- Dubai Culture opens limited-edition Sikka Store in collaboration with Art Jameel, and Kalimat launches its innovative products.
- MoE presents students’ ‘masterpieces’, and MoHAP conveys the Hayat programme message.
- Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre transports visitors to space, and the festival expands its activities towards Al Seef.
Dubai, UAE: The 11th Sikka Art & Design Festival, taking place until 5 March at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, offers visitors the opportunity to explore the creations of local and regional talent in collaboration with the festival’s partners, introducing the audience to the diversity of artistic visions and the local cultural scene.
In this year’s edition, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), in cooperation with Art Jameel, opened the Sikka Store located in Sikka House (House 11), allowing everyone to obtain a selection of limited-edition merchandise designed for the festival. This initiative supports emerging talent in the country, and gives them a dedicated space to display their output, which falls within the framework of Dubai Culture’s efforts to aid their cultural and creative industries. The Ministry of Education also participates in Sikka with its ‘Masterpieces’ programme that it launched in 2017 with the aim of discovering students’ talents in the artistic fields and working to develop and nurture them. As part of this, the Ministry is also screening the movie ‘Bedouinism’ directed by Emirati Abdulla Al Kaabi.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention are in House 5, revealing their Art for Health initiative, which includes a series of innovative activities that convey the humanitarian message of the National Programme for Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation, ‘Hayat,’ while also displaying hologram paintings, embracing sustainability by presenting three-dimensional models of human organs.
The Sharjah Performing Arts Academy, through its programme of training workshops, provides visitors with the chance to develop their skills in teamwork and the use of the body as a form of expression, and opens their eyes to different musical options that enhance their knowledge of acting and dance styles. Kalimat Foundation take part with a variety of creations inspired by Braille. Its entire proceeds are allocated to producing accessible books for visually impaired children.
As part of the festival’s programme of events, female students of the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University reserved a special space in which they present the mural ‘Translations of the United Arab Emirates’ as a manifestation of their perceptions of the nature of life in the country. Using illustrations made from different traditional, exploratory and practical techniques, the university also has a cinematic performances programme – short films highlighting student creativity.
This year, Sikka Art and Design Festival expanded its scope to Al Seef, which hosts the mural ‘Cat of All Trades’ created by South African artist STAINZ 37, reflecting balance and strength through his linear narration of the human journey. Also at Al Seef, Jordanian Shereen Shalhoum presents her 5-metre-long installation ‘Tune Me In,’ in which she chose to focus on musical notes to draw attention to Sikka and its inspiring and vibrant atmosphere.
Khawla Art Gallery is present at the festival through the commissioning of artist Wedad Salem Al Kindi, whose work ‘Loved by Man and Land’ was triggered by the intimate relationship that binds us with this blessed tree, as it is the oldest symbol of nature and part of the Emirati heritage. The Higher Colleges of Technology have the collective work ‘Harmony and Contrast,’ which bears the imprints of Emirati trio Saif Saud Alreyami, Hamad Aljasmi and Mohamed Ahmed Aldhanhani. The work is conceptual photography, showing the nature of difference in the human personality and the role that passions, attitudes and interests play in its formation.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre takes part in the festival’s activities, providing visitors with the opportunity to use virtual reality to travel to space and explore the outer world. This reflects the UAE’s ambitious vision in the field of space and its strategy to cement its position in this sector.