September 2015 to October 2015

by Al-Moutasim Al-Maskery, Amani Alshaali, Issa Saleh Alkindy, Jalal Jamal Bin Thaneya, Jordi Esteva

Empty Quarter gallery unveils its latest collection of hitherto unseen photographs, unknown places, and traditional stories emanating from the Middle East. These celebrated artists have travelled the region to bring us the most unique stories of a specific culture.
In September 2011 Jordi Esteva travelled to Socotra, an isolated island in Yemen. Socotra does not have a bay or a natural port and is surrounded by reef, which makes it impossible to land – especially during the monsoon. This isolation has preserved the unique environment captured by the artist.

Al Moutasim Al Maskery tells us the story of Omani tribes migrating from the desert towards the coastline during July and August every year. Issa Saleh Al Kindycaptures the process by which Omani Rose water is made from rose petals which are carefully selected by local farmers, following an ancient tradition.

Jalal Jamal Binthaneya contrasts emotions and once-alive places with a series of photographs from a world that has long been forgotten, revealing bygone memories. Emirati artist, Amani Al Shaali, portrays feelings of longing for freedom and nostalgia, while Mohammed Ahmed Ahli chooses mysterious, spiritual, and unexplored places that are reminiscent of the UAE culture.

In collaboration with the Spanish Embassy of Abu Dhabi

JORDI ESTEVA
Born in Barcelona in 1951, Jordi is a writer, journalist and photographer. He has travelled all over Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He has worked as a researcher and photographer for UNESCO and he shot a movie for the UN about Socotra Island in the Indian Ocean (2006). His photographs have been exhibited internationally.

AL MOUTASIM AL MASKERY
Born in 1981 in Oman, Al Moutasim’s interest in photography began at the age of 12 when he began accompanying his geologist father on extraordinary trips to the mountains, valleys, and deserts of his native Oman. His father would share with him the photographic images captured during these trips – “This is how I acquired a good eye for detail’. And thus, his lifetime passion for artistic photography was fostered.

ISSA SALEH ALKINDY
Issa is an Omani photographer whose exposure to different cultures has infused in him an appreciation for heritage, an element that is clearly evident throughout his photography. He has received recognition in competitions such as the National Geographic Daily Dozen and the Desert Fish Talent Code/UNICEF Campaign among others.

AMANI AL SHAALI
Emirati artist, born in 1991. She developed a passion for photography at the age of thirteen, and spent a few years working on various techniques. Today, Amani tells stories and experiences which she feels can only be told through photography.

JALAL JAMAL BIN THANEYA
Jalal is a UAE photographer, born in Dubai in 1986. Contrast and heritage is Jalal’s signature in his photography. This stems from his belief that preservation of our past will allow us to better foresee the future, and that this is part of our identity that we must protect.

MOHAMMED AHMED AHLI
Mohammed is an Emirati landscape photographer based in Dubai. His photographs are inspired by the observation of nature and its moods. This passion is recurrent throughout Mohammed’s works.