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The Art Jameel Commissions: Sculpture jury awarded Kuwait-based artists Aseel AlYaqoub and Alia Farid. The artists’ major, immersive installation Contrary Life: A Botanical Light Garden Devoted to Trees debuted at the opening of Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai on November 11, 2018. The announcement took place on February 26, 2018, and the artists were granted a commission to realise their work, which riffs on our relationship with the natural world; their site-specific installation acts as a community botanical garden, albeit one made up of artificial, hybrid trees and flora.

The announcement followed a highly popular call to artists in 2017 that garnered diverse applications from over 57 countries. The shortlist included four artists — Mohammed Kazem, Anahita Razmi and Mounira Al Solh as well as Farid and AlYaqoub; all four artists developed further their concepts and a final jury deliberation settled on the Kuwaiti artists as the winners.

The 2017-2018 jury included writer and curator Shumon Basar; independent curator and art historian Reem Fadda; James Lingwood, Co-director, Artangel; Elvira Dyangani Ose, Senior Curator of Creative Time and Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London; and Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President, Sharjah Art Foundation; plus representatives from Art Jameel.

As part of its Open Call for the programme in October 2017, Art Jameel invited artists to submit proposals for sculptural works that utilise light technologies, reflecting on the role of light in a dynamic urban setting such as Dubai. Artists were encouraged to use Jameel Arts Centre’s architectural façade, and other locations in and around the building as a point of inspiration; the new work debuted in conjunction with the opening of the Centre on November 11, 2018.
Contrary Life: A botanical garden devoted to trees
November 11 2018- August 17 2019      
Roof Terrace, Jameel Art Centre, Dubai, UAE

Website: www.jameelartscentre.org
Email: hello@artjameel.org
Instagram: @capkuwait

ⓒ Aseel AlYaqoub, 2022