“To pay tribute to Islamic art but at the same time put across my impression of a growing city.” Isabelle Avenarius
A new art exhibition has taken up residence at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Hotel in the sun-lit corridor, adjacent to The Chocolate Gallery, that acts as a makeshift gallery space at various times of the year. This new exhibition, which runs until the end of June, features the work of French photographer Isabelle Avenarius in her second Mosaiques – Abu Dhabi series.
In this her first solo show, Avenarius photographs captures some of the capital’s landmarks and skyline and these images are presented in a series of twelve circular (100cm diameter) acrylic artworks portraying Islamic geometric and symmetrical abstract Arabian Art or translated into my simple terms identifiable local buildings and landmarks that have been photographed, shrunk and cleverly immortalised as modern mosaics.
From afar the pieces that line both side of the corridor gallery, resemble giant geometric patterns but on closer inspection some of the places featured become more apparent. Some, such as the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (which ironically the exhibition overlooks), were definitely easier to identify than others that need closer observation and I certainly couldn’t identify everything. Two of the square colourful artworks on display are from her earlier Mosaiques series (2013 – 2014) which depict the souk and the mosque. All the Avenarius acrylic prints are signed and available to purchase in a limited edition of seven.
Avenarius, who was born in Casablanca but raised in Paris, has lived in Abu Dhabi since 2012 and it’s clear that the capital’s modern architecture set against the contrast of Arabian tradition has greatly inspired her. Alongside the two Mosaiques series of artworks she had a previous project called Street which focused on different Abu Dhabi roads ‘using vibrant colours and motions to enhance the dynamism of the fast growing city’ through long exposure photography. As well as producing her own work and holding exhibitions Avenarius is an active member of the community based art group Abu Dhabi Art Collective who recently excited at The Space and will hold the Honalfan Summer Art Festival from tomorrow (17th May) at Abu Dhabi’s National Theatre.
Mosaiques – Abu Dhabi will be at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel until 30th June, pop down and have a look for yourself. Telephone 02 654 3333 for more information. For more information about Isabelle Avenarius and to see all her photography visit her website www.isabelle-avenarius.com
Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2015. All rights reserved