An inspiring new line-up of artists has been unveiled for In the Studio, a virtual programme organised by Guggenheim Abu Dhabi to support Abu Dhabi-based artists and nurture the creative ecosystem in the emirate. Running from 30 June to 28 July 2021, the programme will introduce resident artists Afra Al Dhaheri, Mays Albaik and Simrin Mehra Agarwal through a series of virtual studio visits and a live stream panel discussion, which will be available to view on the website and Abu Dhabi Culture social media platforms.

In the Studio gives artists a platform to showcase their work and creative process, and seeks to inspire thought-provoking conversations around Abu Dhabi’s burgeoning art scene, promoting greater understanding and appreciation of contemporary art in the emirate and beyond.

Maisa Al Qassimi, Senior Project Manager of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, said: "In the Studio is part of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s mission to support artists and serves as a forum for intellectual and cultural dialogue. The upcoming series of virtual studio visits and a panel discussion will examine how Abu Dhabi-based artists have shaped their unique identities, and the ways each is contributing to the emirate’s dynamic arts ecosystem. By offering these fascinating insights, we hope to introduce the work of these artists to new audiences and strengthen the ties between independent artists and the local community.”

Born in Abu Dhabi, Afra Al Dhaheri creates work rooted in her experiences growing up in the emirate and the wider UAE – a place of recent and rapid change. Working across various mediums, including mixed media, sculpture, drawing, painting, installation, photography and printmaking, she experiments with materiality, ritual and process. Al Dhaheri will introduce her work during a studio visit on 30 June 2021.

Mays Albaik’s interdisciplinary visual practice investigates how a sense of place is formed, reflected and refracted – whether through the body, language, or their various intersections.  Developed out of the oral telling of her family’s history and Palestinian heritage, Albaik reveals a winding path through geopolitical and cultural landscapes that led to where she is now; a resident in her country of birth, the UAE. She will present a tour of her studio and her work on 7 July 2021. 

Indian-born Simrin Mehra Agarwal is an Abu Dhabi-based artist whose practice is anchored in how we understand nature. Her work explores nature’s liminal states, the periods between destruction and rebirth when growth takes place silently in ways that are impossible to observe. In drawings, carvings and reliefs on paper, wood and plaster, Mehra Agarwal creates complex and elaborate compositions that meticulously scrutinise, dissect and deconstruct even the finest of details to draw out hidden meanings and connections. Mehra Agarwal will reveal her latest creations in a studio visit on 14 July 2021.

The programme will conclude on 28 July 2021 at 6:30pm with a panel discussion, inviting the three participating artists to discuss the joys and challenges of growing their careers, navigating the exponential growth of the UAE’s arts and culture scene, and how they envision the future of the local creative ecosystem in 10 years' time. The panel will be moderated by Guggenheim Abu Dhabi curators Sara bin Safwan and Jessica Cerasi.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: In the Studio sessions will be available to stream on the website and Abu Dhabi Culure social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Follow the Abu Dhabi Culture social media platforms to stay updated on all In the Studio developments.