The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s (DCT Abu Dhabi) House of Artisans is set to launch a new cultural initiative called ‘Artisans Circle’, which will highlight the importance of traditional craftsmanship, a vital element of Emirati culture and UAE identity.
Artisans Circle will serve as a pop-up concept in multiple locations across the city, as Emirati artisans team up with retailers to produce unique crafts or products by combining traditional craftsmanship components with modern materials. These sessions will demonstrate the intricate handicrafts and creative skills of Emirati artisans and highlight the importance of the UAE’s artistic heritage.
The first edition of Artisans Circle will take place at Yas Mall from 15-17 July, just prior to the Eid Al Adha break, running daily from 10am to 10pm. For this session, House of Artisans, which operates as part of Qasr Al Hosn, has partnered with retailer Candylicious to have artisans specialised in marine traditions create a version of the Gargoor, or Garageer, a woven net traditionally used to catch fish, for families to take and fill with candy and treats in a festive Eid setting, providing an engaging and interactive opportunity for families and children to learn about the craft.
“Artisans Circle is the newest initiative in DCT Abu Dhabi’s cultural plan to celebrate and promote Emirati heritage as a vibrant aspect of our life here in Abu Dhabi,” said Salama Al Shamsi, Director of Qasr Al Hosn and Cultural Sites. “Traditional handicrafts tell us so much about the history of the UAE’s culture and people. These fun, family-friendly pop-ups enable visitors to learn directly from talented artisans about our traditional knowledge and craftsmanship and the ways they have informed our present customs and society.”
Additional Artisans Circle events will be taking place in several locations across the emirate, with dates and further details to be announced at a later stage.
Involving the crafts professionals from Abu Dhabi’s House of Artisans, the Artisans Circle initiative is part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s wider cultural mission to showcase the varied history and heritage of Abu Dhabi in innovative and inspiring ways. Located alongside Qasr Al Hosn and Cultural Foundation, House of Artisans is a valuable addition to Al Hosn’s cultural offerings, aiming to heighten awareness of the immense history and aesthetic heritage of the UAE by preserving the cultural authenticity of Abu Dhabi’s traditional handicrafts and safeguarding the skills and knowledge associated with them, through new mediations and interpretations.
House of Artisans pays tribute to the intangible cultural heritage that is essential to Emirati society to this day, by celebrating the artistic and creative relationship that our Emirati forefathers developed with their surrounding environment to meet the nation’s economic and functional needs. Visitors to House of Artisans will learn about the functionalities of these ingenious crafts and the materials, skills and techniques required to produce them, as well as enjoy displays of contemporary crafts and design by emerging and established Emirati artists and designers who have been inspired by UAE handicrafts.