A question of identity that never arises until it is called into question is that of the home. It forms a seemingly stable and unwavering part of personal history, the fickleness of this stability only becoming apparent when the prospect of leaving or losing your home becomes a reality.
Helen Teede explores the relationship between home and identity in her upcoming exhibition, “Unhomed.” The title, a word borrowed from Homi K Bhabha, through Freud, refers to “that species of the frightening that goes back to what was once well known and had long been familiar.”
Going through the process of leaving her home permanently, her paintings evoke the uncanny moment when a seemingly safe and stable place suddenly becomes something other and outside, traversing a fine line between the familiar and the terrifying. Fragments of her personal life enter and become a part of the discourse of migration and displacement, a discourse intimately connected with violence, that occupies a major part of recent world history. While the process is fraught with uncertainty, it speaks to a shared humanity, fostering a commitment to be of a place and of a time that makes genuine tolerance and reconciliation possible.
Helen Teede's paintings tell a fragile story of disentanglement and severance from the place in which she grew up. “Unhomed” is an exhibition comprising a deeply personal body of work that at the same time speaks to a wider discourse of loss, dislocation and identity both in Zimbabwe and in the world today.
A Group Exhibition of Shona Sculptures
13.03.17 - 13.05.17
The ethic of Ukama held by the Shona people of Zimbabwe is based on the fact that human actions should be concerned with the well-being not only of those living in the present but also of those who will live in the future. This strong ethic is apparent within the practice of stone sculpting in Zimbabwe where the knowledge is passed down through generations.
The people we know as Shona have been carving from stone for nearly 1000 years but it wasn't until the mid 1900's that this art was revived and acclaimed by art collectors around the world. It is believed that most of the movement’s proponents hailed from the Shona tribe of Zimbabwe. The epistemological root of the word ‘Zimbabwe’ is ‘house of stone’ acknowledging the long tradition of stone masonry in the country.
The artists believe in a spiritual connection between themselves and the stone. When crafting a work of art, the artist ‘frees’ a shape from within the material and allows it join our contemporary world. The Shona movement reflects the passionate embrace of spirituality and heritage, synonymous with its culture.
Shona sculpture is sometimes affiliated with the work of Picasso, Brancusi, Modigliani and other Western masters as a source of inspiration. Western modernism has been strongly influenced by primitive art, which avails an immediate impact beyond their place of origin. These sculptors look within for inspiration, within their own land, their own spiritual legacy, mythology, rituals and beliefs. Women have always been a significant source of inspiration as well as the natural world and man's relationship with nature reflecting the country's deep rural roots.
Now in its third generation Shona sculpture has ascertained the acclaim and place in many international collections and offers an important polemic to non-object based art such as that of conceptualism. The power of Shona sculpture, and what proves its longevity in a competitive art climate is the endurance required in its foundational craftsmanship, the primacy given to the object, above the idea, the concept or the context, simply the form.
There exists a lineage between Impressionism and Shona sculpture through its innate primitivism; an after thought of Shona’s Art Historical journey, representing a link to the past, and an enduring art historical force.
"We have passionately dedicated many years to the promotion of this art form on an international platform. It is something close to our hearts, something we believe the world should see."
- Demitris Petrides & Sharon Harvey
9th February- 9th March 2017
Showcase Gallery is pleased to exhibit Dubai-based photographer James Harvey in collaboration with Gulf Photo Plus’ Photo Week. James Harvey captures the varied emotional processes that occur when man meets water, in his aptly titled ‘Submersion Series’.
‘When you submerge something in liquid, there is always a reaction. It’s a simple replacement of matter, buoyancy, which is expressed through Archimedes principle. Displacement occurs when an object is immersed in a fluid, pushing it out of the way. However, bring a living organism into the equation and you have an entirely different situation. Sea creatures live and breath in the water, but humans, cannot survive underwater without oxygen. The average human-being, confident enough to enter the water, may immerse themself or merely ‘go for a dip’. Surfers and divers have to adapt to this foreign habitat finding themselves in deeper more uncontrolled waters. When in these situations a number of physical, mental and emotional reactions occur.’
- James Harvey
As If Anything Here Belonged To You
An Exhibition by Cecilia Fattorini
Cecilia is an international artist who is now based in Oman. She was born in Iran to diplomat parents and has lived in various countries in the Middle East and Africa. This body of work is a product of her reflections on Pakistan and Oman. It is primarily concerned with our impact on the world, experience in it and the understanding we derive, both personally and collectively during our passage.
Cecilia sources her subject matter from the rhythms and processes of nature and the spatial illusions created by the movement of light as it fragments or mutates the appearance and significance of form. She enjoys the dialogue between apparently unrelated materials and for this body of abstract works is using metal leaf on parchment, both of which have lives of their own. The intention of all her pieces is to penetrate through any material or conceptual interpretation, to look within and beyond what we actually see, and search for an alternative dimension which eclipses culture, loss, violence and fear. In aiming to make the invisible visible, it is a search for the rhythm which drives nature, transcends the individual and helps us to accept and run with what we have, making peace with ourselves and our diminutive personal contribution during our stay.
We Are But One Thread
An Exhibition by Ahmed Al Faresi
This exhibition is based on a fictional historical account in which a Native American tribe is culturally fused with a tribe of Arab nomads. The outcome is a shamanistic culturally fused tribal society. Shamanism is a system for psychic, emotional, and spiritual healing and for exploration, discovery, and knowledge gathered about non-material worlds and states of mind. Each artwork is intended to resemble a relic from this fictional ancient society with deep shamanistic meanings. The artwork engages the viewer at a spiritual level to explore the meaning of shamanism from the perspective of an Arab artist.
Academic by nature, Ahmed’s works refer to a wide number of disciplines including science, technology, history, mythology and philosophy. The physiography of his work hints at his Emirati background but the over arching theme within his oeuvre is that of universality within the greater ancient cultural foundations of the earth; our sphere of being.
To see Ahmed’s work is to gain knowledge from, and to engage with. His work has the presence of a relic from the past, largely due to the emphasis of importance he places on antiquity, a cornerstone and launching point for contemporaneity’s social and cultural understanding and even assertion.
Ahmed’s exhibition is a celebration of ethnologic conscious and a challenge to scientific anthropology.
at Showcase Gallery
15th June 2016 - 15th July 2016
A former cum laude student of architecture, recipient of the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship and a Master's graduate from McGill University in Montreal Canada. Morné Fourie is an Artist and an Urban Designer with twenty-two years of experience in East Asia, Middle East and North America. He has led numerous commissions in the fields of master planning and architecture, specializing in new communities, urban renewal and urban regeneration. Morné Fourie is currently the Vice President of Design Management at Dubai Parks & Resorts in the United Arab Emirates, a 10.5 billion dirham publicly listed entity created out of Meraas Development. Morné partook in the development of Dubai 2020 master plan, working with key players from the Dubai Government. Prior to joining Meraas, he was the Director of Urban Design for AECOM in Abu Dhabi.
In Morne’s free time he is a fine artist, working primarily with ink, watercolour and oils. Greatly inspired by local sources Morné’s artworks are broad in subject and distinctive in style.
Kate Toledo & Vayshalee Naran at Showcase Gallery
Opening: 16th May 2016, Alserkal Night
Kate Toledo is a British subject now based between Dubai and Lisbon. Her main sources of inspiration lie in a combination of still-life and traditional intricate embroidery. Her tropical palette derives from her time in Brazil. Kate paints in large-scale, combining strong colour and bold subjects with an architectural eye for composition, making her practice both deeply artistic and design-driven.
Her Middle Eastern Collection, designed in the Middle East about the Middle East, is a series based on Islamic museum pieces from the 12th century. This scarf collection is printed in France and Italy on silk twill with a hand rolled border, a striking illustration of bold prints in trend and a homage to the process of translating past and present visual language of the region’s heritage.
One of Naran’s most potent designs is the bone collection, which was inspired by a single rib bone, the armour and cage of our hearts. It is a symbol of love and protection. Hand-crafted each bone bangle is fabricated in sterling silver and plated in white or black rhodium, pink, or yellow gold with a highly refined finish. This collection is stylistically ambiguous in form, which distracts from the raw and macabre idea of a literal bone. Ergonomically designed to fit comfortably when multiple pieces are worn like the rib bones that inspired them.
Welcome to The Party. The doors are now open.
14th March- 14th May 2016
Elham Moaidnia’s exhibition, “Welcome to the Party” is a journey beginning with the history of traditional Iranian culture, and ending in the artist’s present.
Moaidnia’s symbolic paintings, made not only on canvases but on reclaimed Ras Al Khaimah doors and Iranian fabric, comprise a miscellany of folklore and personal experience in which fragments of traditional stories exist in parallel with visual anecdotes of the artist’s life. She shows us her own interpretation of the social and political landscape of contemporary Iran, into which she weaves memories and traditions of its past. The show is a joyous feast of colour, portraying the generosity of Iranian people and enticing the viewers to bring their own stories into the milieu.
Moaidnia is the host of this lavish party. Through ancient doors bearing fable and paint she asks you to enter and become her indulgent guest.
Select Works for Sale
18th January- 18th February
Showcase Gallery presents the sale of artworks by Amartey Golding from his 2010-2011 Collection. This body of work represents Amartey’s adept draughtsmanship and his intimate approach to art making. Throughout this collection he exhibits his own personal philosophies and ideas in large drawings and mixed media montage. Symbolism, ancient meanings and new mythological stories have their influence on Golding’s work. A self-proclaimed stylised figurative artist, Amartey’s individualistic work champions thoughts and contemplations through narration.
This body of work represents an early period of Amartey’s artistic departure, which allows the viewer to draw a parallel to his contemporary work. Here, we can view Amartey’s clean use of charcoal, devoid of smudging or rubbing and his trademark cross-hatching, which has persevered into later pieces.
“The Material Presence of the Past”
16th November - 16th January
In “The Material Presence of the Past,” Helen Teede reads the earth’s surface as a “text”. Finding a sense of disillusionment in what is written by humans, who are unavoidably bound to a subjective frame, she attempts to subvert the inextricable link between power and writing by seeing every mark on a surface as a kind of writing. Thus she has explored Zimbabwe’s landscape, finding writings in fossilized dinosaur footprints, the bark of trees, the ribcage of a hippopotamus, the rivulets made in sand by an evening breeze, the stones that were once a forest, or the palimpsest of a cliff-face. She traverses the boundaries between art, philosophy, literature and science, incorporating texts from these disciplines in her work and pitting them against what the earth’s surface permits us to read. In doing so, she asks the viewer to discern their own relationship with writing, mark-making, landscape and power.
“The more I read the earth, the more I find stories that are rich, layered and fascinating. The earth’s text allows me to traverse time, bringing the past – as far as a hundred and sixty million years back – into the present. It makes me intensely aware of my own fleeting presence in the world.”
Beyond the Architecture of Art
Michael R. Arnold
20th October - 12th November 2015
An American artist living and working in Dubai, his work reflects an inter-cultural attitude and exposes the depths of spaces and meanings therein.
Mike Arnold’s journey through the imaginative field of design began with a focus on architecture and the constructed environments of buildings he created. Now immersed in his new phase of artistic discovery and expression, Mike continues his journey in search of creating atmospheric perspectives through his use of line and colour. Mike examines the interplay of texture, shape and colour of both iconic buildings and the equestrian world.
This exhibition presents Mike Arnold’s second body of work as a continued exploration of iconic architecture and scenes from the region through his unique paintings and mono print perspectives; a vibrational interaction of sketched, etched, painted and printed lines. His work is known for its subtle harmonic values of colour and shape that broaden the viewer’s vision through unfamiliar perspective angles..
Portraits of the Middle-Way
14th September – 14th October 2015
CHIMUTI | PEPA | DOMBO
Summer 2015 Exhibition
July - August 2015
Submersion Series I
Freeing the Stone
March - April 2015
Colleen Madamombe | Dominic Benhura | Gregory Mutasa | Witness Bonjisi | Henry Munyaradzi | Lovemore Bonjisi | Mike Munyaradzi
Mawaheb from Beautiful People
Mohammed Fassounaki & Alia Dawood
September 10th - November 8th 2012
Daryl Nero and Isaac Sithole
July 4th - Septemeber 9th 2012
Dima Hamati, Eleanor Smith, Michelle Harvey
June 3rd - July 3rd 2012
May st - May 31st 2012
Nothing Beats the Blunderbuss
March 18th - April 18th 2012
Polly & Me and Showcase Gallery
March 19th - April 19th 2012
February 1st - March 1st 2012
Ayam Africa and Showcase Gallery with Elizabeth Glaysher
99 Names of Allah
Polly & Me
A Medley of Syrian Art
Sabhan Adam, Neamat Badawi, Issa Kazah
Elizabeth Glaysher and Sally Dudmesh
Thorns Have Roses
Ink, Oil, Bronze
Houmam Al Sayad
Heat and Dust
Six artists from Pakistan
Salman Farooqi, Bushra Obaid, Junaid Sagid, Mahoobali Ali, Ali Akbar, Nadeem Khan
One for Sorrow, Two for Joy
Embrace Your Journey
Charcoal and Paper Diaries