Something remarkable has arrived at Terminal 3, in the shape of an installation by Dubai’s art studio for People of Determination. Here’s why you should visit The Spirit of Dubai
In May 2017, Dubai Airports celebrated the launch of artDXB – described as “an ongoing platform for artists to showcase their work” in Dubai International. With more than 90 million passengers passing through the airport every year, the exposure is huge.
The flagship partnership for the launch of artDXB was formed with Mawaheb – an art studio found in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood established as a hub to help budding artists with special needs. Mawaheb doesn’t just provide a safe and secure studio to foster and incubate the artistic abilities of its students, for many the organisation plays a pivotal role in overcoming many of the challenges associated with their special needs.
Last year, 24-year-old Emirati artist Abdullah Lutfi unveiled the first permanent piece created by Mawaheb and put on display at DXB Terminal 3 – a pop-art-inspired diorama illustrating daily life at DXB. And you can now see the brilliant piece in the flesh when you’re at the airport. It features as part of a new art installation – a 46-metre-long wall between Concourses B and C – presenting two distinct pieces. The Spirit of Dubai is the coming together of Lufti’s work, complemented by a graffiti installation created by The Domino agency (see above right), on the opposing wall.
It’s all intended to tell the story of Dubai’s history, from old to new, and through the eyes of life at Dubai International Airport.
“Together we are going to bring awareness about the Determined Ones living in the UAE and we will share with the world their talent by showcasing their art works,” said Wemmy de Maaker, the founder of Mawaheb.
The studio empowers its students creatively and gives them a platform from which to express themselves, as well as a safe area in which to develop their skills. It’s a powerful vehicle that has yielded some truly remarkable pieces of modern art, and now you can see some of them at DXB.
The other side of the wall The Domino Agency contributed to the completion of Mawaheb’s work with a complementing piece of graffiti
Much like Pink Floyd’s classic1979 concept album, The Wall, the link corridor between DXB Terminal 3’s Concourse B and C is something we can see ourselves enjoying over and over again.
That is where the similarities between the two wall-based pieces of art ends. Thankfully, the intrinsically down-beat and existential crises-inducing nature of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece makes way for the messages of hope, joy and union created by two uplifting artworks.
Along this 46-metre-long link corridor, you’ll find, sitting opposite each other, the black and white, playful strokes of Lutfi’s DXB scene contrasted by the urban, colourful and street-art-inspired stylings of The Domino, a Dubai-based creative artistic agency.
Like Lutfi, The Domino’s artists sought to create a narrative with the portrayal of Dubai through the ages – beginning with its truly formative years.
Starting with Old Dubai, the emirate’s flag prior to the formation of the United Arab Emirates (a flag which still exists today), and a sequence of abras and dhows, the piece progresses and transforms as the city has done.
Through modern day Dubai (with DXB subtly at the centre of the piece, naturally), the story progresses past an Emirates Airline plane tail fin, towards the Dubai Frame – proudly presented with the Burj Khalifa appropriately centred.
The use of the Frame as the gateway between Dubai’s past and its future, with its present day sat firmly in the middle, looks on towards a colourful ending. Themes evidently inspired by the artwork of Expo 2020 look optimistically towards a city that continues to grow, thrive, and act as a global hub.