CULTUREWHAT'S NEW

In conversation with Julia Smolenkova at World Art Dubai

Art lovers in the UAE are spoilt for choice this season with an array of new exhibitions and events taking place in the emirates. Perhaps the most anticipated of them all is World Art Dubai, which returns to Dubai World Trade Centre for its fifth edition from April 3 to 6. Visitors can expect a showcase of more than 3,000 pieces of art, including paintings, prints, sculptures and photography produced by established and emerging artists. You can also look forward to an exciting range of events, from hands-on workshops to educational sessions. 

As the artist prepares to showcase her latest pieces at World Art Dubai 2019, she tells us more about how the vibrant emirate serves as a constant source of inspiration for her work.

Dubai is an extremely unique place boasting several modern achievements while still retaining its rich Arabian heritage. The city projects openness, goodwill and there are an unbelievable number of options for those who visit. In fact, one of my favourite aspects of Dubai is the unlimited possibility for professional development as an artist because the city attracts so many creative enthusiasts from all around the world.It’s very encouraging to see art-focussed events on the rise in the region and I am grateful to be able to participate in some of them. Top of the list for me is World Art Dubai, which I am extremely excited to be exhibiting at this month. Events such as these contribute to the affordable art scene; they fill the gap and correct the misconception about art being elite. For me, World Art Dubai is the ideal platform for upcoming and established artists to showcase their talent and for visitors of any background to experience and buy art. No rules apply here, just a love of all things art.My painting Cities features a hero piece based on Dubai. I’ve always been amazed by the city, right from the moment I first arrived. There’s something about its unique colour and light you don’t easily find in other places. In fact, the city looks different with each passing moment and to someone with a creative eye, it provides fresh artistic impulses. It’s truly a place of movement and development in every sense.There is always something to do here, it’s impossible to be bored. There are so many events to attend and art can be found everywhere.

I particularly like visiting Dubai Design District, which is a hub for artists from around the region and the world. When I am not working on creating something new, I love to discover brand new places. From hitting up a reserve with flamingos to embarking on a desert safari, my weekends tend to be packed.One of my favourite things to do is visiting Burj Khalifa. In fact, every time I visit a new city, I find the best way to gauge its depth and understand its intricacies is to stand somewhere where the city lies open before you. This is how you really connect with the place. Details disappear, leaving only emotions and feelings as the sights fill you up.Dubai invites different people and cultures with open arms while still maintaining its integrity. This has resulted in a unique and strong identity with unlimited potential. I am grateful to fate for bringing me here.I would advise first-time visitors to be real tourists and visit all the iconic and famous places you have seen or heard about. My top recommendations include Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Fountain, Al Fahidi Historical District, Dubai Creek, Al Seef, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Dubai Museum, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, Jumeirah Mosque, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai Frame and Jumeirah Beach. In subsequent visits, I would recommend exploring the city on a deeper level.

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