‘Autobiography’ by Emirati artist Ebtisam Abdulaziz
Maths whizz spent a year documenting her experiences through three conceptual projects Discuss this article
- Picture 1 of 2
We all have our little quirks and oddities that make us individuals. For Emirati artist Ebtisam Abdulaziz, who graduated from university with a degree in science and maths, hers was an obsession that absorbed her thoughts on long drives from Sharjah to various destinations in the emirates.
‘It’s a very personal thing,’ she laughs. ‘When I’m driving, the cars and the people don’t interest me – what attracts me is the number plates. I’m always reading them trying to find an equation by adding them together. It was all happening in my brain, and I realised I needed to do something. I came up with the idea of creating an art piece. I needed to heal myself from this.’
The result is one of three series of projects that feature in her solo exhibition, ‘Autobiography’, running at the The Third Line until Wednesday January 16. Using black pen on canvas, Ebtisam documented her journey with sketches of dominos as a means to trace the number plates she’d seen on separate trips to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Umm Al Quwain. Yet this was just one of three mediums she chose for this project: the exhibition also features 150 colourful sketches and 10 artworks featuring found objects. ‘I’m a conceptual artist, so I don’t have a specific medium,’ she explains. ‘The concept is the most important element. These three projects are all connected to my autobiography.’
Ebtisam explains how her day-to-day trajectories moulded each of the works in the exhibition. ‘The second project is also based on a trip I took, but this time I was walking and finding objects, and I used them to document my day,’ she reveals. The glass capsule-like displays feature items as diverse as a doll’s head, a traditional Emirati slipper, a badminton shuttlecock and a hairbrush, though each have been painted, as if to rid them of any detail. ‘I’ve given the objects another life,’ she explains.
Her third series has a cubist, abstract element: coloured sketches on mathematical graph paper. ‘This paper is specifically used for maths. I use black pen and coloured pencils to sketch my day onto graph paper. Again, each paper has a date, so it’s like writing my diary, but using shapes, colours and numbers.’
To some, Ebtisam may seem like a contradiction: a creative artist with a mathematical gift. Yet that’s not the only talent she’s hiding: if she wasn’t a visual artist, what can she see herself doing? ‘I’d be a singer – I have a good voice,’ she laughs. It looks as though she has all bases covered.
Exhibition: ‘Autobiography’ until Wednesday January 16 at The Third Line, Al Quoz 3 (04 341 1367).
Artist: Ebtisam Abdulaziz.
Price of works: Dhs2,000 to Dhs30,000.
Time Out Dubai,
Our favourite features
Dubai's best burgers From diner-style bites to gourmet towers of meat
Best karaoke bars in Dubai Don’t save your singing for the shower and hit these Dubai spots
17 new Friday brunches to try in Dubai We review the city’s newest Friday feasts
Best new clubs in Dubai 2014 New openings which have outlived the hype
Where to eat in Dubai Marina Try a new place to eat in Dubai's exclusive waterside neighbourhood
45 budget meals in Dubai Where to dine with a friend and still get change from a Dhs100 note
Best live music venues in Dubai Listen to all sorts of live music at these great Dubai venues
Must-see Dubai sights Nine iconic attractions no tourist or resident should miss
The SMALLEST things in Dubai In a city known for size, we look at the more miniscule things in life
The most stylish restaurants in Dubai Eight fashionable finds in the city
12 best steakhouses in Dubai A veritable carnivore's delight awaits
101 celebrities in the UAE The most famous faces spotted in the emirates throughout 2013
Best selling albums of 2013 The top 20 sellers in the UAE: Who comes out on top?
Around the world at Global Village Dubai Stop and shop across the globe at the UAE's cultural park
Iconic Dubai buildings explained We celebrate some of the city's less well-known architectural triumphs