World Art Dubai 2021: Bigger and brighter than its 2020 edition
Two days into the show, one can safely announce that it’s the healing powers of the arts and the hopefulness depicted by the artworks that have been shining through at the four-day fair.
Little did one know that two back-to-back editions of World Art Dubai, the region’s most accessible and affordable retail art fair, would happen during the pandemic! The seventh edition of the fair opened this Wednesday and would run until Saturday, and it has once again proved the city’s commitment towards the art. The event is known to offer something fresh and exciting in each edition, and its 2021 edition has been no different.
Ahead of the show WAD curator Petra Kaltenbach had promised, “First of all it will be bigger!” She’d shared how the artists wished to be in the public eye, again. “For too long now, we’ve been too restricted. And we have lots of new art attractions to entertain.” And they have so far kept to their promise. When we’d asked the other curator Batool Jafri to elaborate on how WAD 2021 would be different from the previous edition, she’d confessed how there is always pressure on what they would bring to the show next and had reiterated the same thought, “It would be bigger.” Interestingly, their liaison with a couple of museums this year is keeping the crowds engaged, especially the younger ones. The third female curator Samar Kamel felt that this year’s edition was significant for a particular reason, “Creating or experiencing art can be relaxing and soothing, even healers are using art in their methods now.” And two days into the show, one can safely announce that it’s the healing powers of the arts and the hopefulness depicted by the artworks that have been shining through at the four-day fair, which has welcomed more than 200 exhibitors from over 27 countries displaying more than 2000 art pieces.
Indian artist Sonu Sultania, who is displaying her collection titled Once Upon A Time, shares how the previous edition left her overwhelmed with the solidarity of the art community and the awareness raised through art. “My collection is an ode to the nostalgia of pre-pandemic life and my love for nature, travel and fairy tales,” she added. “My work speaks of philosophies that focus on love, family, community growth, as well as personal development given the circumstances.” Yousra Wahba, an Egyptian artist adds, “WAD 2020 was great for people from all ages to taste the beauty of art. It was my first exhibition and the outcome was great in terms of positioning myself and my art among such top-notch artists and their remarkable art,” she said. She’s exhibiting a fusion of art techniques of mixed media with resin and acrylic, intending to take this special type of art to the next level.
Running under the theme ‘Discovering new Perspectives’, visitors are invited to see things differently and find inspiration in all aspects of the show, brought to life through new and returning activations around furniture, mixed media, fashion, music, dance, sustainability, digital art, photography, graffiti, sculptures and more. And these perspectives include an opportunity for all of us to rediscover ourselves, “As the pandemic is unfolding, it has paved an opportunity for the same. I feel in 2021, artists would come together to depict basic values of humanity, simplicity and compassion, and moments of hope through their works.” She added how WAD 2021 would stand out amongst the sea of virtual events as a live international event platform for art enthusiasts.
“WAD 2021 is an exhibition where expectations are even higher, there is a strong message to support the arts and get life back to normal, safely.”
Egyptian artist Yousra Wahba, WAD 2021 participant
“WAD 2021 is filled with new themes, ideas, hopes and innovations. I believe it is a window to the life before and during the pandemic and also showcases what the future may hold, but most importantly it proves how we can enrich lives and support issues of mental health through art.”
Indian artist Sonu Sultania, WAD 2021 participant
• On: Today, 1-9pm; Saturday, 1-8pm
• At: Dubai World Trade Centre, Halls 1 and 2
• For: Tickets cost Dh20/ adults, Dh10/ children (family packages available)