Sunday 6, December 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald:  Tashkeel, as part of their wider programming and ongoing support for artists that work and live in the UAE and region, presents the first solo exhibition by Dominika Durtan. Held at the Al Fahidi Historical District where Durtan has recently been working from a Tashkeel studio space there, the works on show from December 10th to January 6th include watercolour paintings and sculptures inspired by the urban city landscape of Dubai.

The Polish-born designer, artist and photographer moved to Dubai from New York almost four years ago and interprets her visual surrounding and experiences to her art.

In this multifaceted debut exhibition entitled Explorations in Watercolour and Beyond, Durtan explores a variety of concepts through the media of watercolour and sculpture, separated in three distinct micro-shows.

The ‘Urban Landscapes’ section is made up of a collection of watercolour paintings inspired by the architecture of modern Dubai. Utilising geometric forms and a sensitive colour palette, Durtan captures recognisable cultural elements, retaining both the authenticity and content of her subjects. An ongoing project, these artworks see the artist experiment with scale and modular compositions.

The second part of the exhibition ‘Landscape with Argonauts’ is a collection of experimental abstract watercolour paintings influenced by musical composi-

tions by German avant-garde composer Heiner Goebbels.  Durtan believes these abstract artworks may be the result of chromesthesia (a common form of synethesia) – where sounds are depicted via colours. Durtan describes these pieces as, “simultaneous landscapes since they capture a moment in time when reality and dream are merging”.

In contrast, ‘Free-form 1-3” adds an intimacy, warmth and balance to the show, as Durtan showcases wooden sculptures – a material close to her heart – which complement the colourful paintings. The sculptures made from red meranti wood, often used in boat building, are carved using a handheld chisel which involves working in solitude for days, creating a further personal bond between artists and artwork.