Across the Gulf
2008 – 2009
By Dr Irene Barberis & Keith R. Winter
An artist’s inner drive, and ultimately their mechanisms of perception, though so vastly different and personal, resonate universally with a similarity of language. Artists globally have the ability to create spaces, worlds and systems which move beyond logic. I have endeavoured through this project to make the space, to capture fleetingly these world in Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. (excerpt from Director’s Note by Irene Barberis)
Across the Gulf was also a major exhibition of works by twenty-two Emirate artists from Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The exhibition was striking in comparison to other recent Middle East exhibitions around the world in two major ways: (1) it presented a showcase of emerging and established artists who are all practising from within their culture, rather than building their practice in the west, and (2) the presentation of the work is in contrast to shows of Middle Eastern art in the contemporary museum’s neutral space which serves to heighten not only a distanced and reflective western viewpoint of the nature and representation of art but also emphasises the works as objects of possession. These artists are making contemporary art in the face of a cultural landscape that is undergoing intensive and unparalleled change.
Authors: Irene Barbaris and Keith Winter
Graphic Design: Keith Winter
Design support: Hugh Makin and Louise Lee
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