This week's best art exhibitions

Our critic's pick of the top 12 shows in town

Wednesday 22

Africa from Mother to Motherboard
An exhibition highlighting the effects of colonisation through the works of two photographers. German-based Austrian Mario Marino’s portraits of the tribes of the Omo Valley in Ethiopia are contrasted against the photo journalism of Kai Löffelbein taken in Ghana, whose images of the pollution and degradation caused by Westernisation creates a dialogue about preserving culture.
Until January 23. The Empty Quarter, Gate Village, DIFC (04 323 1210).

Thursday 23

NEW Capture – UAE Photographers’ Forum
This three- day event will start with an exhibition followed by a two-day photography seminar, which will cover a range of topics from commercial pictures and landscape shots to fashion photography and portraits.
Free. January 23-25. Light House Studio, Al Quoz 3, info@graceandgarbo.com (04 422 6037).

Our Abstract World
The Media One Hotel’s latest lobby exhibition features abstract paintings from French/Madagascan Nirina Ralanto.
Until February 8. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 427 1000).

Friday 24

Street Night Art
Claiming to be the largest open air gallery in Dubai, this special night will involve galleries showcasing their pieces, some of which will be available for sale, as well as air brush demonstrations with a street feel. Other entertainment includes beat boxing and breakdancing competitions and open mic sessions.
Free. 6pm-midnight. Street 4B. Al Quoz 1 www.allquozproject.com.

The Pleasure in Boredom
The Iranian artist Nargess Hashemi’s latest solo exhibition has deviated from her figurative works to showcase imagery that evolved through ten years of experimentation on graph paper. The inspiration for the exhibition started from Hashemi’s idle doodles to pass the time.
Until February 27. Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Al Quoz (04 323 5052).

Saturday 25

Bookbinding workshop This course will cover all you need to know about bookbinding, ranging from different types of paper, embossing and how to create a hardback book. Materials are supplied but participants need to bring a cutting mat, a sharp scalpel/cutting knife, scissors, and a metal ruler. Dhs100.
11am-4pm. Showcase Gallery,Al Quoz (04 379 0940).

Custodian of Vacancy: The Iranian Embassy in the USA
The photographs in this show are a result of American/Iranian contemporary artist Eric Parnes’ rare access to the Embassy of Iran in Washington DC, which has been closed since the fall of the Iranian Shah and the US Embassy hostage crisis in 1979.
Until January 30. Ayyam Gallery, DIFC (04 439 2395).

Sunday 26

Black Rainbow Portuguese sculptor Rui Chafes’ nebulous and anthropomorphic matt black sculptures are exhibited alongside meticulous drawings by German Ralf Ziervogel. Until March 10. Carbon 12, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 340 6016).

Metamorphosis
From Ferrara in Italy, Daniela Carletti’s mixed-media artworks have been compared with the introverted, slow and magical, yet at times disturbing, nature of her home town.
Until February 8. Artissima Art Gallery, 8th Street, Al Quoz 1 (04 380 6479).

Monday 27

Crossings – An African and Arabian Dialogue Featuring the work of Cameroon artist Joël Mpah Dooh and Lebanese painter Raouf Rafai, the imagery in this show merges various inspirational elements to produce contemporary artworks that are sophisticated and primitive.
Until February 13. Mojo Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 347 7388).

Pappa
A Swedish photojournalist based in the Middle East, Katarina Premfors’ emotionally charged pictures are inspired by a desire to create a catalyst for social change and cover topics ranging from HIV and cancer to disability.
Until February 22. Gulf Photo Plus, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 380 8545).

Tuesday 28

Ireland’s Hidden Gems
This exhibition of the work of Daragh Muldowney involves fine art photographs of rock pools from every coastal county in Ireland.
Until January 31. Z Gallery, Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road (04 323 0333).

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