Khaleej Times

A space for art
LUBNA AL MIDFA (Staff Reporter)
29 January 2008

Khaleej Times

A new concept in Dubai, Tashkeel is unique in that it aims at creating a community that primarily unites all artists from different nationalities reflecting the diversity and multicultural society of Dubai.

It's vision and goal is to provide a dynamic environment where artists can discuss and nurture their artistic eye, develop work in a buzzing environment where the main language is art, whether through painting, photography, jewellery design, printing, among other art related mediums, and of course to be able to showcase their work in exhibitions.

It welcomes artists of different ages and varied experiences from university students to practicing artists and designers. In it's effort to provide members with the latest professional equipment, Tashkeel is equipped with studios offering members facilities related to several medias such as fine arts, design, photography, specialist facilities including a Mac computer studio equipped with the latest creative software, large format digital printing, jewellery workstations, printmaking and silk screen studio, textile printing and 3d workshops.

Lateefa bint Maktoum who decided to embark on this project explains her reason and idea behind Tashkeel: "The idea started from working with artists and designers in Dubai and seeing that there is a lack of places where they can actually go and work. Especially after graduating, you may no longer have that environment where artists can exchange ideas and get feedback.

Artists need feedback to spark what they are doing and as you can see, with all the studio rooms around the building, each room flows in to another. So everyone can walk around, have a look at what others are doing, start a dialogue... I thought that it would be a good to bring together artists from different backgrounds, because Dubai is such a cosmopolitan society and I hope that Tashkeel will bring together artists from all nationalities."

Jill Hoyle, Tashkeel Manager adds: "When Shaikha Latifa curated the exhibition entitled - Minus Reality, last June, which included 30 young artists of a mix of nationalities, cultures and ages that we realised then that the artists were hungry for exposure, for somewhere to work and also for information."

Now we are in the information age and we have all these websites on line, that bring together all these different artists. But this is a physical community where you can actually see what is happening rather than just have it on line. You can have more of a dialogue, and actually look at what people are doing and talk about it."

When asked about her thoughts on the country's art-scene, Shaikha Latifa says, "With all the development happening here in Dubai, I think people are looking for who they are. There is a lot of response to one's identity and that is what I have noticed in recent exhibitions held in galleries in Dubai. People are trying to express who they are through their art-works. Going back to their roots, origins, and reflecting that through pattern shape and symbolic things."

Dubai is changing on many levels on a roller coaster pace, perhaps making the art work the only imprints of those changes, which many might agree represent a different meaning than what is expressed in other countries. On that thought Jill says, "It should do, I suppose and there is a danger that it won't, that it would be imitating something else. I think one of the purposes of having Tashkeel is for people to be true to themselves in terms of what they are expressing. You know the art world generally is booming in Dubai. What with galleries such as Art Dubai and Art Paris, which are exposing UAE to other artists and art forms that previously they didn't have the opportunity to see."

Not only will Tashkeel provide workspace for members and a gallery for exhibitions, it also provides access to a library with an extensive number of art related books as well as up to date international art journals and magazines such as Art Forum, Parkett, Design Week and Freeze. Tashkeel will also host workshops that will be open to members as well as non- members. For more information contact