ART OF THE MATTER
The second edition of the International Emerging Artist Award is providing upcoming artists with a chance to break into the international arts scene.
IEAA winners thus gain recognition by art professionals through the involvement of the international contemporary art galleries that are partners of the event. The core identity of the IEAA is based on the promotion of artists whose work and practice reveal a wide range of artistic innovation. The IEAA is a springboard for the careers of talented artists who are only waiting to be known. Regardless of the competitors’ age, what matters is the quality and originality of their work, and the way is open equally to photographers,sculptors, video artists, performance artists, painters, digital artists etc. As Rebia Naim emphasizes about her relationship with them, “we listen to the artist [and] try and establish the basis of their career as an individual,” adding that “it is a great enriching human experience.” It is through them that this unique platform of emerging artists is created.
This year, two official winners were designated: Pablo de Laborde Lascaris, of Mexican origin, representative of the international scene, and Dr. Hamad Al Falasi from the United Arab Emirates; but the quality of the selected candidates was such that the IEAA wanted all of the top ten artists to be exhibited alongside the two winners at the FN Designs gallery in Dubai.
FN Designs holds a special place in the competition with the outstanding support of its director, Her Highness Sheikha Wafa bint Hasher Al Maktoum, who is patron of the award and an artist herself.
After Pablo de Laborde Lascaris’ first successful exhibitions in Dubai at FN Designs (March 2013) and in Singapore at Vue Privée Gallery, the emerging artist was invited to become an associate of the two-year-old Galerie Gourvennec Ogor in Marseille, whose French director, IEAA juror Didier Gourvennec Ogor, is also President of Marseille Expos and a prominent figure within MP13, Marseille-Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture. The Emirati winner, Dr. Hamad Al Falasi, and Hamdan Buti Al Shamisi, who came third in the contest, were also invited to participate in future exhibitions in Dubai at FN Designs.
Through this approach, IEAA artists have secured great opportunities at
the start of their careers. Thus, Pablo de Laborde Lascaris was invited to showcase his work in the Swab Barcelona Art Fair from October 3-6, 2013 with Galerie Gourvennec Ogor, along with other shows that they proudly look forward to in 2014. This is what the gallery owner, Didier Gourvennec Ogor says about his collaboration with the emerging artist: “Pablo will be exhibited from October 31 at Galerie Gourvennec Ogor in a solo exhibition. He will have the opportunity to invest a space of nearly 200 square metres by 4.7 metres in height. This is a difficult exercise for artists in general, but I am sure he will take advantage of this great opportunity. The exhibition is already booked in the program of Marseille-Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture. As I am very excited by this new collaboration with such a promising artist, of course it will be followed by other projects of exhibitions or fairs...” Indeed, a distinctive feature of IEAA is also to focus on the artist’s long-term career and to strengthen the position of avant-garde Emirati artists. Dr. Hamad Al Falasi emphasizes this dynamism towards the arts in the Emirates: “The art scene within the UAE has blossomed in the past 10 years. This is clearly seen in the number of art galleries, UAE art fairs, art programs, art competitions and, above all, the rise in public receptiveness to art. The authorities have given extra attention to the field, too, with a number of initiatives and programs introduced at different educational levels.” The IEAA also enjoys the support of prestigious partners such as the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. Dr. Hamad Al Falasi presented a series of photographs entitled “Colloquialism”, about which he says: “My aim is to document pure colloquial words used within UAE society and to emphasize their beauty in an artistic format. The location for each photograph was carefully examined and chosen to reflect on where those words once originated and where they might become extinct.” This practice, firmly rooted in the Emirati culture, is also reflected in the work of Shamma Buhazza, an Emirati artist currently studying at Parsons the New School for Design in New York, who is a particularly promising talent. In her notably committed works, this 19-year-old young woman, who won second place in the IEAA Emirati section, conveys her perception of women in UAE society.
The next competition will introduce a way of integrating design and its components into the IEAA adventure with the creation of the International Emerging Designer Award (IEDA) for the 2014 edition. But the IEAA will really take on a new dimension with an online gallery. As Rebia Naim says: “The online gallery is a platform designed to reward the best works of the IEAA contest. This initiative is in keeping with our vision of providing broader recognition for emerging artists. This online gallery will bring visibility to those who took part in the competition.” The launch of the next contest is already announced for September 2013. Thus, new artists and emerging contemporary designers will be able to spread their wings and export their talent to new horizons.
Clockwise from top: artwork titled ’Containers’, mix media installation by the IEAA 2013 winner, Pablo de Laborde Lascaris; work titled ‘Pitch’ by Pablo de Laborde Lascaris’, Emirati Winner, Dr. Hamad Al Falasi’s digital photography, Hamdan Buti Al Shamisi entitled “Short bio...”, who placed 3rd in the Emirati Award category, IEAA 2013, Shamma Buhazza’s artwork, mix media collage and Emirati Winner, Dr. Hamad Al Falasi’s 3D calligraphy and digital photography artwork on Emirati Colloquialism.