Alia Dawood was born in Baghdad, Iraq and grew up in London.
She studied BA Arts, Design and the Environment (Architecture) at Central Saint Martins University in London. Dawood subsequently went onto the Princes’ Drawing School Postgraduate programme for an MA in Drawing in 2010. One of her pieces is now part of the British Royal Collection. Dawood also exhibited alongside University of the Arts graduates in Hoxton, London in 2011... 

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My early work, through large, stylised figurative portraits, focused on thoughts and contemplations of the individual. I would say my signature style is figurative subject, usually the head or head and torso, done in charcoal on paper or canvas. I use charcoal in a clean way without smudging or rubbing, instead my work is predominantly made up of angular crosshatching.

As my work evolves I am now focusing more on exploring my own philosophies and ideas through the use of large drawings and mixed media photomontage. I usually use symbolic anials and sometimes images to convey an idea or story. Some of the animals used I have given a specific symbolism to myself, and others I use for their ancient symbolism...

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For some years now Verster has been fascinated by ancient cultures including the practice of body marking which includes tattooing, scarification and painting. Verster ‘excavates’ the richness of this heritage and the works draw their power from cultures where body marking speaks to identity and tribal signification. As such the figures are citizens of a collective global tribe. 

Previous bodies of work explored the ornate decorative elements of spiritual deities and iconography. This exhibition extends and develops this interest showcasing highly decorated figures with a cornucopia of seemly endless images and symbols...

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Bahraini born and raised, Areej Rajab recalls watching with wonder as her aunt, the traditional Islamic water-colourist Sameeha Rajab, worked away at the canvas. At three, with her aunt as both inspiration and tutor, Rajab began to learn about colour, materials, techniques and application. She began a love affair with colour that, as an adult, shows no signs of waning.

Rajab studied Business and General Management at the University of Bahrain, and had three children before she made the decision to pursue her lifelong passion. That passion took her, family in tow, to the London College of Art where her true talent revealed itself fully, perhaps for the first time...

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DOMINIC benura

Born in Zimbabwe in 1968, Dominic is one of the pioneering sculptors of Zimbabwe. He is well recognized by the strong linear composition of his works. After joining a resident artist program of Harare in 1990, he progressively moved on to larger sculptures, working with both metal and stone.

Through the years, Dominic has helped to transform Shona sculpture into a world class modern art, exhibiting his works at major venues such as the EXPO ‘92 in Sevilla, EXPO 2000 in Hannover, the Yorkshire Sculpture Garden (UK), the Millesgarten Museum (Sweden) and in 2008 the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden (Holland).
The sculptures, made of opal, spring stone and dolomite, are featured in UNICEF’s 2014 calendar, where Dominic is represented as the artist of the year...

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Ehoodi Kichapi , Red Donke with Yellow , 2017, Acrylic on Canvas , 76x99cm .jpeg

Ehoodi Kichapi

Ehoodi Kichapi is a self taught artist, who has been painting for the last fifteen  years. His artistic life started in 2002, through doing caricatures as an instructor for the Kuruka Maisha art group.  He had his first solo show in 2007 at the Alliance Francaise, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Whilst he credits Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko and Jean-Michel Basquiat as his inspiration, he is fast achieving his own individual practice and a strong, often witty, original voice. Kichapi's painting of the singer Ali Farka Toure has been taken to Italy for exhibition at the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum in Naples...

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elham moaidnia

Elham Moaidnia was born in Esfahan, Iran.   Her work is recognisable from her use of Iranian symbols, expressive figures and scripts appearing as slogans. Her inspiration comes from observing contrasts in society and the penetration of Arabic culture in Iranian life. Using acrylics, ink and oil on canvas she paints her expressive figures in a decorative style.

One can observe Rumi poetry in many of her paintings, best described as post-expressionist and influenced by the great master Marc Chagall. The principal essence of  Elham’s works are social, portraying life in Iran Today and especially the fate of women caught between tradition and modernity...

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elise vazelakis

Elise is an American artist based in LA. Her work engages a larger vision, challenging people to focus on those whose concerns are not understood by mainstream society. She has had solo and group exhibitions in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dubai. In 2008, Elise created a mural for the City of Malibu at the Michael Landon Center paving the way for the two outdoor installations commissioned by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

In her Gamcha Project, Elise highlights construction workers and their instrumental role in building the city of Dubai. The artworks are inspired by the laborers’ colorful head wear, also known as Gamcha.

Gamchas were collected by Elise over a period of 8 months, and woven together into textiles incorporating fabric, photographs of the workers, and found objects from construction sites...

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Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude

My paintings demand that the audience become familiar with Shona.  Shona oral tradition is densely populated with visual metaphor, making the environment come alive in imagination. This tradition of making the environment instructive and interpretative has been translated into contemporary reality of life in the high-density neighborhoods in the cities, especially in Harare. It is here that language evolves, transforms and is shaped by emerging identities of my contemporaries as they define their own Africa and their relationship with the world. This is my raw material and inspiration.

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Helen Teede is a painter born and brought up in Zimbabwe, where she currently lives. Using the landscape around her as a point of departure, her work is an exploration of the ways in which the earth's surface can act as a teller of stories and symptom of circumstance. 

 As a white Zimbabwean, Teede is deeply and painfully conscious of the conflicted history of race relations in the country, which still has not arrived at reconciliation and integration...

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James is a freelance photographer presently based in Dubai. He spent two years studying in Australia followed by a year in Morocco working as a location manager under GSI (Global Surf Industries). Having grown up in Dubai, James, a passionate surfer, has been by the sea almost his whole life, sparking the inspiration for much of his work...

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From those first tubby chestnuts of the Lascaux cavemen through the caparisoned mounts of medieval knights to Leonardo's rearing battering-rams or Stubbs' equine supermodels, the horse has picked its proud way through our civilisations. Of all our fellow creatures, it has been our most important companion. No wonder that artists across the centuries should have tried to capture it, to speak of its power and its drama, its courage and grace...

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Mohammad Fassounaki was born in 1944 in Tabriz, Iran where he also attended art school.

The inspirations behind the figures seen in Fassounaki’s works are drawn from his memories of passing scenes of people going about their everyday lives. These familiar features in his paintings are reminiscences of men and women in Azerbaijan.

Fassounaki often thinks about change and evolution – he is particularly interested in people as well as nature and this can often be seen in his works. Trees, plants and flowers are accentuated with warm hues of red, greens and pinks.

He notes human moods and relationships and it’s his use of lines and colour’s that inspire him to create these unique works...

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Mike Arnold is a visual artist in the early stages of his painting career - an individual who, after a number of years successfully moving in other creative design worlds, is discovering himself as a visual artist - a painter, thus, the experience of his new work is an enlightened journey. Changing styles and evolving techniques characterise his bodies of work, of which no two are the same. Looking in, we have no idea what might come next. The artist says he, too, is looking inwards - waiting to see where his work and his imagination will take him, and what path will take him there. The question of what comes next is not yet something that commands an answer, and that is what makes his output all the more compelling...

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A former cum laude architecture student and 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...

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Olivia attended Columbus College of Art and Design’s five-year BFA program where she majored in Illustration as well as taking every Fine Art course that could be squeezed into her semester’s tuition. After working for five years in the LA film industry as a conceptual designer, the pull to create her own work through the means of painting was too much to resist. She cut up her credit cards and moved to a cabin in the mountains of Utah to paint full-time...

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Born in Kenya in 1980, part of a generation of young African artists working on the continent whose engagement with contemporary practice is rapidly gaining international attention, Onditi's paintings explore richly layered images and contemporary global issues through the use of highly experimental, labour intensive techniques. Filmstrips, prints, transferred images, pared down layers of pigment, caustic acid and thin layers of oil paint are patched together in meticulous ways to visualize an imaginative world that carefully unpicks at current divisions and tensions based on the same ideological, political and religious differences that have plagued our collective existence since time immemorial...

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Peter Ngugi

Ngugi was born in 1978 in Nairobi, Kenya.  He completed his Primary Education Certificate in 1992 and his Secondary Education Certificate in 1996 in Thika on the outskirts of Nairobi. Upon leaving school, he went to Limuru, Kenya, where he worked as a shoe salesman for a year.  At this time, Peter used to paint during his free time, but didn’t show his work...

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Richard Kimathi

Richard Kimathi was born in 1971 in Nyeri, Kenya. He received a diploma from the Nairobi Creative Art Centre with a major in Graphic Art. After graduation, he took up Fine Art as a career.

In 2000, Richard received a letter from the New York selection committee of the United Nations, appointing him to produce a work for a limited-edition postage stamp. It said: ‘You, along with Vermeer and Matisse, have been chosen...’.

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Self-taught artist Sabhan Adam depicts expressionistic distortions of the human form in this large and diverse selection of mixed media works on canvas.

His subjects seem to live in a place that tears the watcher out of complacency into an uncomfortable plane of existence, where any reference to beauty depends on your level of discomfiture.

His polemic is human and generalized rather than strictly local, making him a truly unique artist in the Arab world.

Sabhan Adam was represented at the 2011 Venice Biennale and his works are part of public and private collections worldwide...

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Born in the UK, Tariq Dajani spent his formative years between the Middle East and Europe. Afforded rare insight into disparate cultures and traditions from a young age, the curiosity of youth offered a path to exploration of his native Middle Eastern heritage in adulthood.

Working from Dubai, London and Stockholm, multi-award winning Dajani is an established fine art photographer whose signature style has gained him international recognition. His work is frequently shown on the world stage; his accolades include the John Kobal Photographic Award (National Portrait Gallery, London) and and First Place, Fine Art Category, International Colour Awards (London/New York)...

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Wissam Shawkat is a conceptually motivated artist with mastery in Arabic calligraphy. Born in 1974 in Basra (Iraq), he was first introduced to Arabic calligraphy at the age of 10 by his primary school teacher Muhammad Ridha Suhail.

Shawkat is largely self-taught in the rigorous medium, attaining mastery through book research, visits to various masters, museum and library collections throughout the region.

He has received numerous prizes for his calligraphy and has participated as both an artist and committee member at multiple editions of the Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial and the Dubai International Calligraphy Exhibition...

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Wycliffe Mundopa

At 26, Wycliffe Mundopa is already a veteran painter in the emerging contemporary art scene in Harare. He is undoubtedly the most passionate and committed painters of the lives of women and children in Harare’s underprivileged neighbourhoods. His works speak out with passion at anger, cynicism and compassion and most of all with relentless commitment to acknowledge those too often swept under the carpet by society. His work also becomes an opportunity to see how painfully and vibrantly women’s lives reflect the conflicts of tradition and change of life in contemporary life in Zimbabwe, from the clash of moral codes to the economic strain. His depictions seek to encompass the contradictions of good and bad, beautiful and ugly within the urban landscape...

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