Four UAE artists made history on Friday 9 July, unveiling their joint mural in Assilah’s old town. The mural, painted in only a few hours, is the first work of art painted jointly by Emirati artists.
The mural, and those painted over the past eight days throughout Assilah’s medina, are part of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) involvement in the 32nd Assilah Festival, Morocco.
The artists involved in the mural painting are Jalal Luqman, Mattar bin Lahej, Azza Al Qubaisi and Khalil Abdulwahid. “We are grateful to ADACH as this was all possible due to them. This mural will contain more than one hundred years of combined experience,” said Luqman.
“We know each other already but to work together for the first time is very exciting”, said Khalil Abdulwahid. “Being an artist is usually a solitary thing, so to collaborate on a piece is great.”
The artists have brightened up the whitewashed walls of Assilah’s medina with their distinctive artwork and have also illustrated the breadth of Emirati artistic talent on offer at Assilah.
Assa Al Qubaisi, one of the UAE’s leading female artists. was also delighted to take part in the project. “It is an honour to work with artists I respect so much – and it was quite an easy process. We only decided on the final design this morning, so it was refreshing to work in such a natural way.”
ADACH’s Artist Liaison Supervisor in Assilah, said all the artists were enthusiastic about the collaboration. “They all said yes, they all wanted to be a part of creating history. These are four very well known artists, so to have them work together on this project is wonderful”.
While the mural demonstrates the breadth of creative talent in the UAE, it also illustrates the unity of the Emirates, something echoed by Luqman. “It shows everyone in Morocco how the UAE works together and how we are united. Each of the artists brings something different to the work, and in that way we are like the Fantastic Four!”
The mural will be on display for an entire year in Assilah and is just one of an extensive series of events that have been being organised by ADACH under the title of: "Renewable Energy - A Leap Towards Human Development". There will be more than forty-five countries from around the world participating in this year's festival. It is one of the most important art festivals in the Middle East and North Africa and seeks to promote cultural exchange and create a culture of open dialogue between different countries. Its ethos is to celebrate the values of peace and tolerance.
ADACH, along with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development and Masdar are representing UAE officially at Assilah Festival as a guest of honour this year.