Friday, 29 April 2022

Hilma af Klint

Sadly a couple of my closest friends are moving back to Sweden this summer, which sucks, big time. I guess I'm still in a bit of a denial about it, but it's hard pretending when they start emptying their houses, and selling off things.
We don't need any more furniture, but I still went to have a look at what Petra was getting rid off, and to my joy I found something that I actually had been looking for - a poster that fit right into our living area.

I had an empty space to fill on the wall over the sofa, but since this poster was so big I had to move things around a little bit, and moved the one from this spot to the opposite wall - and hung this here by my reading chair. I LOVE the colours!

Also, it is lovely because this is actually a print by Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), after a painting called No 7, Adulthood from 1907, which is part of The Ten Largest, a series of the Paintings for the Temple. The real painting is very big, measuring 2x3 meters.
Hilma af Klint was an artist that largely worked away from the art world, without participating in exhibitions or publishing manifestos. She also stated that her work was not to be shown at all until 20 years following her death. Discovered largely thanks to the success of exhibitions in the 1980s, and she became a big name after the 2018 exhibition with her works became the most visited exhibition ever at the Guggenheim NY.
Af Klint created abstract art years before Kandinsky, and experimented with drawing guided by the unconscious decades before the Surrealists; she is now considered one of the pioneers of abstraction.

Iftar at the Oasis

Every year I try to go to at least one iftar during Ramadan. Although now I'm saying out loud that next year I will try and do one each week of Ramadan - because they are always really, really nice!

This time I did the 'Iftar at the Oasis' at Park Hyatt, together with a couple of colleagues/friends - Kathleen and Karina. We were dressed for the occasion of course, we fit right into the bedouin themed setting!

As we were a little bit early, we took the opportunity to walk down to the beach and have a little photo session in the beautiful "golden hour"-light.

I was just gifted this gorgeous kaftan earlier in the week by my friend Petra who is (sadly) moving back to Sweden in the summer, as she didn't think it would come to any use back home. Just my colours, and perfect for this occasion!

A groupie shot of me and my "liliput" friends...

... then they made me take a step down from the boardwalk to make it more fair on them! Ha ha!

Once the sun had set and the cannons had been fired, which we watched on big TV-screens, it was time to dig in! The food was absolutely delicious, food always tastes much better when you are outside, and it was a glorious evening with perfect temperatures, in fab company!

We had such a magical evening, what a beautiful setting this was, like straight out of '1001 nights'! With Eid coming up this weekend, I am now already looking forward to next years Ramadan, and iftars!

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Ladies Night - and Ladies Days!

Been having some lovely time with friends lately, making the most of the fantastic weather we are having. It was really hot, then it became bearable again, so now every day feels like a bonus before the  humid summer heat kicks in for real.

Tried out a new Ladies Night last week, at Yas Bay. I had heard a lot of good things about this Ladies Night, and it was really buzzing! So nice to see people! There was no entertainment though, due to Ramadan, so I guess we will have to come back!

I spent the morning on the beach at Hidd yesterday, together with some girls from the SwedishLadies group. And as every time I have these kind of mornings I ask myself "Why don't I do this more often!?". The water was just perfect, the beach is so beautiful, the dolphins came to say hello and even though I came home with the whole beach bag full of sand, it was the perfect morning!

There has been time to enjoy some yummy lunches with friends lately too, some out and about:

... and some at home. Not my home unfortunately, but the balcony of my friend Frida, who has the most enviable view!

Good times!

Monday, 25 April 2022

Blast from the past

Kathleen and I visited another exhibition at Manarat al Saadiyat the other day: 'Zemanna- Replaying the 90s'. An exhibition about the decade that here in the UAE as seen as the beginning of the major change and expansion that this country has gone through.

Artists were commissioned to present some interactive installations, and they each explored this time in different ways. What led to the 1990s and what did the 1990s lead to?
Here is Past Voices, as the cassette culture was something very big here:

The 90s Kid, two time capsules, with a lot of elements that I recognised:

My favourite installation was the Al-Burkan, The Volcano Fountain. A play with the prominent landmark that once stood on the Abu Dhabi Corniche.
A mass or everyday items in colour, chunky technology and a wish to be playful. Many, many objects of my youth here! Once these things were super modern, now they are considered vintage. As am I soon!

A very funky little exhibition, both for us 90s kids - but also for OUR kids I guess, to get a glimpse and idea of how the world looked like back then.

Say hi to Stan

Last month it was announced that there will be a further addition to the Saadiyat Cultural District in 2025, with a Natural History Museum. Big news for the capital, and very exciting obviously! It's intention is to set itself apart from others by telling the history of the earth through an Arabian lens. There will be a focus on the local fauna and flora and the geological history of this region but it will also house a scientific research center with an aim to inspire future generations interest for the natural world.

Already now, and until the middle of next month, you can see a part of what's coming in a small exhibition at Manarat al Saadiyat.
The main attraction is 'Stan', the world's most famous T-Rex!

Not only is Stan the most known T-Rex skeleton in the world. He was also the most expensive fossil ever sold at an auction back in October 2020 - when he went for $31.8 million.
Stan is 67 million years old, near complete at about 60%, and he has one of the best preserved T-Rex skulls ever found. You can see that it is displayed separately (with a replica taking its place for display) as it is way too heavy to mount together with the rest of the skeleton.

This skeleton was found in the US in 1987, by a paleontologist called Stan Sacrison, after whom he then got named. It stands about 4 meters tall, and is almost 12 meters long.

Another highlight is the Murchison Meteorite, which is going to be the oldest item in the new Natural History Museum. This crashed down in Australia in 1969, but it was formed over seven BILLION years ago. Proved by its variety of organic pre-solar compounds and grains. Mind-blowing!

The exhibition also showed a skull and tusks from the very special kind of four-tusked elephant that used to live here in the area about 7 million years ago - the Stegotetrabelodon Syrticus. This skull was excavated in Al Dhafra, here in the UAE. Back then this place was a lot more green and lush, reminiscent of the savanna actually, hard to believe.

Also we got to see skulls from a dugong and a gazelle, from more modern times here in Abu Dhabi.

How exciting! It's all happening here in Abu Dhabi!

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Stories of Paper - the Members Event

So Tuesday night I worked late for the museum, during a Preview Event for the members, where they got to see the newest temporary exhibition, entitled 'Stories of Paper'. Kathleen and I were there to mediate, and we gave four tours each of this new exhibition throughout the evening to very lovely members.

One part of this exhibition, is hosted in the forum in the basement of the museum. It is a large labyrinth in cardboard by Michelangelo Pistoletto. It is very very cool.

What I really love with this exhibition is the selection of artworks and how they have been curated. It tells the many different stories of paper, for example what it offers, the many uses it offers and how it is a part of our common universal heritage. All this and much more is presented through over 100 artworks, even 13 contemporary ones.

The exhibition is separated into 12 parts, and in each part a modern piece is juxtaposed ancient pieces. This is a really interesting approach. Here I am in the first part, that talks about how paper comes from plants, mediating in front of Pipal Tree, 2017, by Jayashree Chakravarty.

This transparency by Carmontelle from 1795, is one of the masterpiece loans. It has never before left France to be exhibited, and it is a really impressive piece.

A leporello by Etel Adnan, The Sausalito Garden, 1996. I have enjoyed discovering her written work, as I only before knew of her art, which is much more joyful. Her writing is more historical and specific.

There are stories about the space of paper, the movement of paper and the colour of paper to name a few. Like here below, a room with prepared paper, and paper dyed in the pulp; paper in many different colours that evoke different things, depending on where you are from or who you are.

There is even a full-scale model of a traditional Korean house inside the exhibition, to show how these  houses are made not just of wood, but of different kinds of paper too.

Another part of the exhibition focuses on how paper can be both resilient and fragile, for example with this Japanese folding screen.

Here's another contemporary artwork, by one of the "5", an avant-garde artist group here in the UAE. This is Mohammed Kazem and his Scratches on Paper.

In the part that talks about reproduction, Louvre Abu Dhabi is for the first time showcasing their print of Under the Wave of Kanagawa, by Hokusai, c. 1830. One of the world's most known motives.

Here is Kathleen mediating the Great Wave, and me in my outfit for the night - notice how well I dressed for the occasion?

The final part of the exhibition talks about the malleability of paper, and showcases cut outs, collages and "giornatas", from when the Hall of the Mirrors were decorated.

And also this large scale work called Pattern, from the series Blind Owl, by Pouran Jinchi, from 2012.


Lucky we really like each other, considering we spend so much time together, ha ha! But seriously, we  rocked this event, we work really really well together! Although it was a long night indeed... Kathleen had to take her heels off on the way out, after all those tours!

This exhibition is now open for the public, until the 24th of July. Don't miss it!