Renowned Emirati artist features paintings at LAU
Painter Samar Al Shamsi traveled to Beirut from Abu Dhabi to exhibit a small collection of her work at LAU’s Fine Arts Building last week.
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An exhibition featuring the works of renowned 28-year-old Emirati artist Samar Al Shamsi made its way to the Beirut campus for a one-week showing this week.
Twenty of the painter’s portraits decorated the walls of a room inside the Fine Arts Building where a steady stream of curious students, faculty and staff has taken advantage of the display.
Al Shamsi’s work presents a variety of themes including nature, emotion and politics.
One portrait depicts nine hands, some overlapping others, appearing scarred, fragile and weak. Al Shamsi explains that the hands represent those of Arab presidents and kings, and the work was meant to depict the divisions between Arab countries. “We Arabs are not united,” she says. “We are not one hand.”
Al Shamsi says her work is mainly inspired by everyday occurrences, often by accidents.
“But most of the time,” she adds, “I take my inspiration from dreams. I dream the portrait already complete, with all of the colors and everything in place.”
Al Shamsi was born in Beirut to Emirati parents but moved back to Abu Dhabi as a child. She picked up painting as a hobby during her childhood years and began pursuing it professionally at the age of 16.
Al Shamsi also has a passion for interior decoration and has an impressive role as the managing director of Sketch Interior Design, a hip Abu Dhabi-based interior design firm.
Certain themes and figures reappear in many of her works but when asked to pick a favorite, Al Shamsi can’t choose one. “All of them,” she says.
The soft-spoken artist’s paintings were first displayed in Lebanon earlier this year at the Ministry of Tourism in Beirut. She has previously featured her works at exhibitions in Dubai, Cairo and Paris.
The exhibition will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Thursday, August 20 at the Sheikh Zayed Hall of the Safadi Fine Arts Building, Beirut campus.
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