CHAT WITH SOUBOYY: MICHELE BAMBLING AT ABU DHABI ART HUB
By: Team SouBoyy, SouBoyy Bureau, Abu Dhabi | Art and LifeStyle
When I started my career in journalism with the Deccan Chronicle / The Asian Age back in Mumbai, I commenced with art and culture beat. My favourite place was to sit at Jehangir Art Gallery in Kala Ghoda. Sometimes, the artists would invite me to their room and open another door to their creative lives… we would sit for hours sipping chai and talk about arts, their life, their culture, various moments and everything under the sky. I have a thing for artists, I always felt I would fall in love with one because their creativity inspires me a lot…So, when I was invited to the Abu Dhabi Art Hub (ADAH), I was excited to explore another unpublished culture through art…Sometimes, what we cannot see through our eyes, we can see it through the reflection of art… Dale (my Canadian friend who is a music teacher in one of the international schools in Abu Dhabi) picked me up from my place, accompanied by Jason, his friend from United States and we geared our wheels towards Mussafah, where Art Hub is located… The moment we entered Art Hub, it was like entering an oasis in the middle of the desert… It was a different world, a world of artists that speaks an universal language… I was excited to know how Ahmed Al Yafei (owner of Art Hub) thought of creating such a haven for artists and art lovers… As, we entered ADAH, we were welcomed by Anastasiya Bunder, who is an European artist and currently working as the Workshop Co-ordinator at the Art Hub… I met Andrea Garza, Lorena Mal, Gabriela Galvan, and Raul Mirlo – they are all Mexican resident artists who will be living in Art Hub for a month and thereby leaving four of their creations to Art Hub for exhibiting. Most of the artists always speaks an universal language, and we ended up striking interesting conversations about their art and how they involved themselves to the mainstream society. I met Ms. Nassim Al Majed, who is a senior artist – she is very senior artist…Ms. Nassim’s art is unique and she works with glass, she carried some of her art pieces that consisted of beautiful mosaic art that she crafted into finest necklaces and souvenirs…I instantly told her that someday in near future, she should design a brooch… She also invited me to her studio to see how she designs her art pieces… I can’t say how excited I am to see a piece of glass turning into a piece of art and adoration…She told me, “Sou, when I am creating my art pieces I literally forget about the entire world…at that time only, I and my art exists…” I couldn’t agree more…Though, I never liked brooch when I was young, my best buddy Felix Bendish from Mumbai got me addicted to his lizard brooch that he designed for London Fashion Week (btw, felix is a fashion designer)… I still remember the first time when I wore a Felix Bendish brooch for the Resort Fashion Week in Goa…the compliments that I got from the fashionistas at Grand Hyatt Goa, got me addicted to brooch later on…Anyways, next I met Michele Bambling who was a Professor of Art History and Museum studies at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi…Michele is superb talented, she received a Ph.D. from Columbia University in United States and also a post-doctoral research fellowship from The MET Museum in New York…We have covered an art exhibition at MET New York before named “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity“. The exhibit taught about the influence of technology by showing fashionable clothing of the time, paintings which depict the same, and explaining both with stories and ephemera…Michele is now the creative director of Lest We Forget… It is a book – “Lest We Forget: Emirati Family Photographs 1950-1999” that explores the experiences of Emirati people during the early decades of nation building…She told me, “Sou, this book is not intended to document media events or official protocol; instead these candid images captured private, lasting memories. This is the first publication of such important vernacular material…” Simply, for me this is the first time I got a glimpse of the ancient Emirati culture through these photographs…The experience was unique…Post lunch, I ended up painting three pieces, one was the third eye, that is much talked about, the second was my favourite Ganpati Bappa and the third was a multi-coloured heart that depicts the varied emotions that amalgamates in our heart perpetually. After all these activities, we were so tired to we went upstairs to the terrace where we sat beside a beautiful tent, overlooking the desert and sharing moments of our lives…From the rooftop, I literally could feel the lively euphoria inside the Art Hub…For the first time in my almost 2 years stay in UAE (a year in Dubai, and my second month in AUH), I saw the desert from a different light…When Andrea dropped me at Dalma Mall as it was almost 10pm and time for me to come back to my abode…Lawren Harris‘ words kept ringing in my ears while I tossed in my modest bed until I was engulfed deep in slumber – “Art is long. Life is short…” SO TRUE! 🙂
What I loved the most about the evening?
Apart from the beautiful paintings, it was amazing meeting the beautiful artists at the Art Hub. I just realized that Art speaks an universal language and it is the beginning of a vision into the realm of an eternal life. The experience was incredible. I have to be there again soon.
ٍSou and Michele Bambling, Creative Director of Lest We Forget.
A glimpse from the ‘Lest We Forget’ by Michele Bambling.
Sou and Andrea (Garza), Mexican artist.
Sou, Dale and Jason at Abu Dhabi Art Hub.
Sou and Dale at the exhibition.
Art at Abu Dhabi Art Hub.
Amateur Painting by Sou.
Amateur Painting by Sou.
Art at Abu Dhabi Art Hub.
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