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Leading UAE-based commissioned artists Michael Rice, Anjali Srinivasan and Roberto Lopardo discussed the creative process behind works inspired by the UAE natural world – featured in the exhibition marking the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s 20th anniversary

Artists in Conversation 1 2nd Apr 2017

Abu Dhabi Festival’s ‘The Art of Nature’ exhibition continues with ‘Artists in Conversation’ series

The Abu Dhabi Festival’s ‘The Art of Nature’ continues at Umm Al Emarat Park until 23rd April. With the support of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and Chair of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), the unprecedented exhibition of 40 artworks by leading UAE-based and Emirati visual artists is accompanied by a broad education programme held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan to inspire inform and engage visitors of all ages.


As part of the exhibition’s educational strand, the first ‘Artists in Conversation’ session was held yesterday in the exhibition at Umm Al Emarat Park. Joining moderator Alexis Gambis (filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Biology, Film and New Media at NYU Abu Dhabi) were three of 10 artists commissioned artists: Michael Rice, Anjali Srinivasan and Roberto Lopardo.


Photographer Roberto Lopardo’s ‘Mapping Bu Tinah’ documents the secret world of Bu Tinah, an island off the coast of Abu Dhabi under EAD’s jurisdiction which was shortlisted as one of the ‘New7Wonders of Nature’ in 2016. In the session, Lopardo spoke of his 24-hour stay on the island in total isolation, taking one photograph every minute to map the the island’s fragile eco-system.


Glass artist, Anjali Srinivasan spoke about the inspiration behind her commissioned work ‘Crusta: Frozen Mud’ – a visit to EAD’s Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. Director of the UAE’s only hand-crafted glass studio, ChoChoMa Studios in Dubai, Srinivasan’s work combines salt with glass and flour, creating multiple layers and textures reminiscent of the UAE landscape.


Artist and educator, Michael Rice commissioned sculpture ‘Wave’ abstractly depicts the phenomena of diffusion reaction, in which energy is dispersed and dissipated through systems in nature. During the session, he explained the concept and process behind his large-scale ceramic and earthenware work, revealing his fascination for rhythms and patterns inherent in the natural world. 


The next ‘Artist in Conversation’ takes place on Monday, 10 April at 7pm at ‘The Art of Nature’ in Umm Al Emarat Park and will feature leading Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi who will speak about her experience working with acclaimed UK sculptor Gill Parker.


‘The Art of Nature’ education programme under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan also features sessions and workshops in a dedicated activities area, in association with Mubadala:


Drop By & Create!

Suitable for ages 3+ | Arabic/English | Exhibition Opening Hours, 23 March – 23 April


Junior Guided Tours

Suitable for ages 8-16 | Arabic/English | 4–4.30pm, April 5, 12, 19

Once Upon A Time…Nature Tales (Arabic)

In association with the Fatima Bint Hazza Cultural Foundation

Suitable for ages 3-13 | Arabic | 5–6pm, April 10, 17, 21


Once Upon A Time…Nature Tales (English)

Suitable for ages 3-10 | English | 5–6pm, April 7, 14, 21


Fish Me A Word!

Suitable for ages 5+ | Arabic/English | 4–7pm, April 22


Chinese Ink Painting

Suitable for ages 3-15 | Arabic/English | 5–7pm, April 7


Mission Spaceship

Suitable for ages 12–14 | Arabic/English | 4–5pm, April 8 & 15


Mobile Photography Workshop with Reem Saeed

Suitable for 17+ | Arabic/English | 4–5.30pm, April 21


Abu Dhabi Festival is presented and organised by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. ADMAF is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision. 

For further information, please visit the Festival website Abu Dhabi Festival can also be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.