In its first official exhibition, the Khawla Art & Cultural Foundation celebrates calligraphy, faith, colors, and poetry.
The Khawla Art & Cultural Foundation has selected Dubai Opera, the unrivaled cultural edifice in the Arab world, for its first official presentation of powerful works of art to Arab and worldwide audiences. The exhibition, which commemorates the foundation’s first anniversary despite challenges posed by the pandemic, outlines the foundation’s creative and cultural activities through its passion for fine arts. Roughly 50 stunning works by 40 artists from around the world are on display, from paintings, sculptures, to decorative arts. The Foundation has also set aside a section for Quran verses in various calligraphies scrawled by artists who have decorated mosques, palaces, and domes or have been mentored by calligraphy giants in the Arab world. With the apt moniker “Unity in Diversity,” the exhibition emphasizes that in the face of mutual goals, neither language nor ethnicity is a barrier and that art is a universal alphabet.
HH Sheikha Khawla Bint Ahmed Al Suwaidi, the founder and visionary behind the exhibition, takes part with her own calligraphy artworks, a craft she learned and perfected growing up. She has produced a contemporary, supple font from her vast philosophical and literary repository, specializing in the Jeli Diwani style of Arabic handwriting, which is marked by the intertwining of its letters and its straight lines from top to bottom. Her font combines the art of hurufiyya, Arabic for “letterism,” free of the constraints governing other typefaces.
The Sheikha’s artwork urges viewers to ponder on the deeper layers of meaning contained within the dramatic use of words, scratched in ink without lifting pen from paper. The exhibition also encompasses profound concepts such as faith, which is narrated in both verse and prose, tolerance. Shown in various words and colors, and spirituality, it takes up a large portion of the words and illustrated the search for spiritual truth through life, prayer, goodwill, and gratitude for the divine. The exhibition is a reflection of the Foundation and the esteemed Khawla’s Cultural Council, which holds since its establishment a variety of monthly cultural seminars on painting, colors, calligraphy, light, and poetry.
The exhibition is open from September 28 till October 12, from 10am to 10pm, with add-on events including insightful conversations between the artists and audiences.