Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Womad 2010 is a feast of sight and sound

Colour perfect

Among the participants at World of Music, Art and Dance (Womad) Abu Dhabi 2010 is Emirati artist Wasel Safwan, whose large, colourful canvas can be seen gracing the area near the North Stage of the festival.

"I was approached to participate last year, but unfortunately I was doing an international exhibition at the time. When they asked me again this year, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the festival... it's an interesting way to showcase UAE art," Safwan said.

The Al Ain-based artist admits that his style is influenced by his study of architecture, which has resulted in a uniquely abstract style that he describes as "UAE-ism". "I describe my work as UAE-ism because I'm always representing my country, both in my art and especially when I am abroad. I also conduct workshops that help me bring my style to university students and to share ideas with them."

Although Safwan is creating his piece throughout the three-day festival surrounded by the sounds of the public and performing artists, that is something that the artist isn't worried about.

"When I'm painting, I block out everything and I feel like I'm in my studio. I work outdoors, so I consider that to be my ‘studio' because it helps to inspire me," Safwan said.

"I'd love to do collaborations with a performing artist where I paint on stage while they perform, but I'm not sure it'll work because they might take only an hour or so to perform but I can take hours to paint."