A Labour of Light A fascinating exhibition that documents the plight of a group of abandoned labourers in Sajja, an industrial area in Sharjah, as photographed by themselves. When their employer fled the country during the economic downturn the men were left to fend for themselves in the camp. When a local photographer became aware of the abandoned labourers, she collaborated with local charity Adopt-a-Camp to share her photography skills, donate cameras and make regular visits to encourage them to tell their story through imagery. Prints and postcards will be on sale during the exhibition. Until February 16. Gulf Photo Plus. Warehouse D36, Al Serkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz (04 380 8545).
Fakie 2012 Pitting itself as a skateboard ‘dexhibition’, this collaboration between Tashkeel Hub and travelling skateboard art show Fakie will see the opening of a new skateboarding ramp as well as an exhibition of deck art. Tonight, skaters are invited to come down to the ramp and show their tricks in order to win skateboard parts. Until February 18. Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba, intersection 1,Street 5 and 20 (04 336 3313). NEW I... Revolution This solo exhibition by award-winning Egyptian artist Mohammed Taman features oil paintings characterised by the chemical reaction that occurs when he superimposes pigments onto the canvas to create metallic-like hues. Until February 10. ArtSpace, Gate Village building 3, DIFC (04 323 0820).
Join the Festival Friends ahead of the Festival of Literature Enjoy discounts and rewards for both the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in March 2012 as well as events in the year-round programme at Dar Al Adaab in Bastakiya. The three levels of benefits include discounted tickets, priority bookings, lounge access and invitations to events. For more info and to enrol, visit www.emirateslitfest.com.
Art Sudan Celebrating the pioneers of modern Sudanese art, this exhibition features the works of Ibrahim Salahi and Mohammed Omar Khalil, who have shaped the region’s art by combining Western technical practices with their traditional cultural heritage. Salahi experiments with the Arabic script, while Khalil creates collage compositions using traditional objects from the Arab world. Until February 29. Meem Gallery, next to Pressotto, Al Quoz (04 347 7883).
Beyond the Obvious Switzerland-based designer, art director, artist and advertising magnate Dean Williams presents an abstract exhibition of recent works which take on a transparency and are void of time and space. Until February 11. The Majlis Gallery, Al Musalla Roundabout, Bastakiya, Bur Dubai (04 353 6233).
Creer Pour Exister View an exhibition by Maurice Frido, the only living painter from the generation of Côte d’Azur artists. The landscape painter has documented his travels in the UAE with a body of work that captures the sun, sand and sea. Until January 21. Aspen Café, Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates (04 409 5999).
Equestrian photography and digital imaging course International equine photographer Astrid Harrison will be holding a two-day workshop in Dubai to capture race horses in action. The first day of the course will be spent inside to discuss working with images on your computer, while the second day will start at 6.45am, when the group will venture out to shoot horses in the morning light. Dhs400 per day, including a light lunch. Until January 22. Majlis Gallery, Al Musalla Roundabout, Bastakiya, Bur Dubai (04 353 6233).
Inspirationalists: Khalid Shafar This solo exhibition features furniture pieces, predominantly timber and woodwork, inspired by the artist’s Emirati heritage. Among the pieces included in the exhibition are a palm trunk-inspired coat stand, and a crate that can be used as a side table, corner table or coffee table by a slide of the top layers. Until February 4. The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, Emaar Boulevard (04 447 7025).
Transgressions A conceptual exhibition featuring items such as feathers, mirrors, scrunched-up pages of books, antiques, cigarette packs and bric-a-brac, German-born artist Al Braithwaite uses these juxtapositions to challenge boundaries and comment on authoritarian positions. Until February 13. XVA Gallery, Building 7, Gate Village, DIFC (04 358 5117).
Colours of a Beating Heart Inspired by music, Dubai-based French artist and muralist Julie Dalloz presents a visually engaging solo exhibition full of movement and life. Until February 20. The Fridge, Al Quoz 4 (04 347 7793).
Dirty Laundry Syrian artist Tammam Azzam presents a solo exhibition of canvases featuring rope, clothes pegs and other found objects, which feature in silhouettes on dark backgrounds to appear almost like a photo negative. Until January 26. Ayyam Gallery, Gate Village Building 3, DIFC (04 439 2395).
Elsewhen Drawing inspiration from the genre of science fiction, where time travel, voyages into space and ideas of what will happen next shape what is really to come in the future, Iranian artist Ala Ebtekar takes events that are occurring today and links them to stories and history in the past. Until March 8. The Third Line, Al Quoz 3 (04 341 1367).
Listen to a talk on art appreciation Want to learn more about the arts and how to make the most of the genre? Art Sawa holds regular classes and workshops throughout the year to help enthusiasts brush up on their knowledge. The topic of tonight’s discussion will be neo-impressionism and symbolism, featuring speaker Shelley Young. Dhs100 per person. 6.30pm-8pm. Art Sawa, DIFC (04 386 2366).
Mr Passive Exploring themes such as human interaction and the subconscious body language used within day-to-day life, Iranian artist Mehrdad Mohebali’s detailed paintings capture people going about their daily rituals and invite the viewer to explore a moment frozen in time. Until February 18. Gallery Etemad, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 346 8649).
Light From Life A stunning exhibition showing off the landscape and nature photos of eight regional artists, following a joint expedition to New Zealand to capture the unique natural environment of that region. To give viewers a better understanding of their adventure, the photographers will have their camping equipment on display in the gallery, as well as a short documentary. Until March 3. The Ara Gallery, Burj Plaza, Downtown Dubai (04 454 2784).
Marie Marie, The Devil in Me has Taken You for a Ride This solo exhibition by Lebanese painter Marwan Sahmarani is a complex personal insight into the artist’s own journey into fatherhood. It covers the conflict he feels as an artist to be more detached, when as a father he desires more involvement. Until February 16. Lawrie Shabibi, Unit 21, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 346 9906).
Innerscapes Acclaimed Turkish photographer Nazif Topçuoglu presents a series of playful and theatrical images, showing young women in medieval-style settings. His works depict a nostalgic view of youth and one’s desire to relive their prime, while also commenting on perceived and conventional ideas of adult life. Until March 5. Green Art Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 346 9305).
Mine In this exhibition featuring video installations, 19 South African artists explore the concepts of personal ownership, with each artist referring to themselves in their work. Those on show include Bridget Baker, Jacques Coetzer, Teboho Edkins, Simon Gush and Cedric Nunn. Until February 4. Ductac, Level 2, Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4777).
Space Forward Citing artists Roland Barthes and Marcel Proust as inspirations, Austrian photographer Birgit Graschopf uses her medium to explore a variety of public and private spaces in a series of evocative black-and-white photographs. Definitely worth a look. Until February 12. Carbon 12, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (050 464 4392).