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Weaving together different facets of art

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Sunaina Rana/ Emirates Business

The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has recently announced its collaboration with the Emirati artist Mohammed Kazem to create a commissioned sculpture for the Rolls-Royce Art Programme. Kazem joins the list of eminent artists from around the world who have been commissioned by the marque to create unique works of art and and he has become the first Emirati to be featured in this prestigious programme.The work of art is expected to be presented by the end of 2016 alongside a Bespoke motor car which will be inspired by the sculpture. Both the sculpture and the car are expected to demonstrate Kazem’s particular interest in using latitude and longitude coordinates in his work.
His fascination with collecting and documenting information about seemingly unimportant objects, by photographing them and mapping their coordinates, will be demonstrated in both works. In his practice, he uses GPS as a tool for drawing shapes and recording an item’s location.
The Art Programme’s legacy of fostering creativity, enabling artists to create new projects and to explore new areas of their practice will continue as Rolls-Royce will support Kazem, who has previously worked in the mediums of video, performance and installation, in producing a metal-based sculptural work for the first time.
Emirates Business talks to Kazem about his latest expedition with Rolls Royce.

How do you define your association with Rolls-Royce Art
Programme?

On a previous trip to Goodwood, the home of Rolls-Royce, I was inspired by the craftspeople who work painstakingly to create each and every car. This led me to then map out the localities of the craftspeople from around the UK, who will be working on a Bespoke Wraith that will be produced in conjunction with the piece I’m creating. These GPS coordinates will then be a reoccurring theme in the metal-based structure I’m producing as the commission for the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.

On which art form, you would be
focussing on during the
programme?

My style is multi-faceted and encompasses video, photography, and performance to find new ways of capturing my environment. I’m particularly interested in working with longitude and latitude coordinates, which I’ll be using in this commission as mentioned earlier. I’ll also be creating a sculpture for this piece, which is something I’ve never done before.

What is your opinion on the UAE’s art industry?
I began my artistic education in the UAE in the mid ‘80s; at that time there were no academic institutions that were formed in order to pursue an education in the arts. The situation has significantly improved in just a short span of time, with universities, institutions and foundations operating to the advantage of a young artists’ formation — besides an increasing trust in the role of museums and the flourishing of the art market.

Do you think such projects can help in promoting budding talent?
Absolutely, it’s through initiatives like the Rolls-Royce Art Programme which provide young and budding artists the opportunity to showcase their talent on not only a local, but global level — as well as explore new areas of their practice.

Who are the artists that inspired you at a young age?
When I began studying art in the UAE, I trained as a painter and I have been deeply influenced by the impressionism masters. Later as I developed my practice, mostly under the mentorship of UAE artist Hassan Sharif, whom I met when I was 14, I moved towards a more conceptual approach in my practice.

What would be your advice for aspiring artist?
I would advise the aspiring artist to constantly explore new ways of working, whether it be with materials or mediums — this would help them to hone their craft. It’s also important to collaborate with other artists, as it’s an amazing learning experience.

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