The vibrant and diverse world of contemporary art, is set to take center stage as the Roots Exhibition opens its doors on the 25th of September, 6 PM, at the prestigious Alliance Française in Abu Dhabi. This notable exhibition is honored to have the esteemed patronage of His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to the President of the UAE, and His Excellency Nicolas Niemtchinow, ambassador of France to the UAE.
H.E Zaki Nusseibeh, the Cultural Adviser to the President of the UAE, expressed his appreciation for the vital role played by Alliance Française in fostering cultural activities and messages in Abu Dhabi. He highlighted the exhibition as a significant step towards strengthening cultural relations between the UAE and France. He stated, “Alliance Française has been instrumental with cultural exchange, fostering stronger ties between the UAE and France. This exhibition acts as a great opportunity to showcase the diverse artistic talents within our community and the power of art to transcend borders and connect societies.”
This remarkable Roots exhibition will showcase the artistry of two exceptional talents: French artist Karine Roche and Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi. They aim to provide the viewers with an immersive world of sculptures and paintings, inviting them to engage with their work. These artworks draw inspiration from the UAE’s largest mangrove in the Arabian Gulf. “Roots” represents more than just art; it symbolizes the essence of mangroves with their three distinct types of roots, each serving a unique purpose – anchoring the trees and allowing them to breathe. These roots also metaphorically mirror the identity and cultural heritage of a place. Notably, this exhibition pays a special tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed, a pioneer in mangrove restoration and afforestation efforts in the United Arab Emirates.
Azza Al Qubaisi’s art has been showcased in esteemed exhibitions globally, such as Portrait of a Nation in Berlin (2017), the UAE National Day Exhibition at EXPO Milano (2015), Three Generations at Sotheby’s in London (2013), and Sculpture to Wear at Tashkeel in Dubai (2012). Her work has graced notable events in Doha, Bahrain, Morocco, Cairo, Brussels, and Helsinki, and her creative journey was documented in the publication, 500 Earrings: New Directions in Contemporary Jewellery (Lark Crafts, 2007).
In recognition of her artistic contributions, Azza Al Qubaisi received accolades, including victories at the British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards and the Emirates Woman of the Year Awards. She solidified her artistic presence through participation in Artists and the Cultural Foundation: The Early Years (Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, 2018) and exhibitions like Art Space (a collaboration between The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and ALDAR properties, 2021). Notably, she was a recipient of the Cultural Foundation Art Residency in 2021.
On the other hand, Karine Roche began her artistic journey with her studies in Fine Art and landscape architecture in Paris, holding a diploma from ENSAAMA Olivier de Serres. Since 2009, she has been based in the UAE and is an active member of the Emirate Fine Arts Society. Karine’s work has been featured in prestigious galleries globally, such as Galerie Catherine et Andre Hug in Paris and Art Sawa Gallery in DIFC, Dubai. Notable exhibitions include showcases at the Sharjah Art Museum, Tashkeel Dubai, and the French Alliance. Her paintings are part of private and corporate collections, including the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee, the French city of Vitry-sur-Seine, the Colas Foundation, and the West Lake Museum in China. Her art explores the complex interplay between human development, nature, and memory, inviting viewers to question their relationship with the world around them.
Karine Roche shared her enthusiasm about exhibiting at the Alliance Française, stating, “I am delighted to have this opportunity to share my artwork with the society of Abu Dhabi and the Emirates. My paintings convey the landscapes of my travels and memories, offering reflections on human development and our connection with nature and the environment and hoping they resonate with the viewers. Travel has always been integral to my artistic journey, as my nomadic childhood opened my eyes to the richness and diversity of world cultures and the profound impact of geographical, social, and cultural landscapes on individuals.”
The Roots Exhibition is anticipated to be a gathering of ambassadors, diplomats, art enthusiasts, and connoisseurs from the French Embassy and beyond. It aims to celebrate the rich tapestry of cultural exchange and deep cultural connections between the United Arab Emirates and France through the powerful medium of art.