The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2015 for Creative Sculpture, Keswa

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When: Sunday 19 Apr, 2015 10:00 a.m. - Thursday 30 Apr, 2015 12:00 a.m.
Venue: 1971 - Design Space The Flag Island Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, was presented last night by New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Institute in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF).

Open to UAE-based students, and graduates within the last five years, the Award honoured third year Architecture students of The American University of Sharjah, Nada Al Mulla and Salwa Al Khudairi, for their creative sculpture, Keswa.

Keswa, the Arabic word for cloth or covering, explores the flowing form of the abaya, or traditional garment worn by Arab and Islamic women.  Though the piece is comprised of steel, a hard material, the form suggests the movement of undulating fabric.  The details of attachment at the steel ribs nod to embellished stitching.  Viewed from afar, the stark black form sits in contrast to its surroundings but at the same time, light and colour from within that close environment are highlighted by the materials used.

Established in 2012, the Award is designed to encourage the creation of new artwork in the UAE, act as a launching pad for visual artists across the Emirates and offer the winner an insight into professional life as an artist from commission to exhibition.

Embarking on a UAE wide tour until April 2nd, Keswa will be available for viewing at the following locations: New York University Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island (Monday 16 March 2015 – Thursday 2 April 2015), Qasr Al Sarab, Liwa (Sunday 5 April 2015 – Thursday 16 April 2015), 1971-Design Space, Sharjah (Sunday April 19 – Thursday April 30). Audiences are encouraged to enjoy a close encounter with the work; to walk through or even sit under the piece, and to experience the enveloping form.