“Moments” is the latest exhibition where The Empty Quarter Gallery supports emerging artists and photographers from the UAE.
Collection Artist
Pearl Diving & The Burqa Al Moutasim Al Maskery
Nurturing Artists Christopher Osborne
Where the sun always shines Christopher Osborne
Raya and Sakina Habby Khalil
Unforgettable Moments Hamed Musharbak
Wild Janaina Matarazzo
UAE Landscapes Khaled Al Hammadi
Zanzibar H.E. Muhammad Al Murr
Nepal by Night Sebastian Ebbinghaus

Pearl Diving & The Burqa

In “Pearl Diving” and “The Burqa”, Al Moutasim Al Maskery explores historic practices and icons from the areas cultural past.

Al Maskery uses underwater photography as a way to explore the relationship between life and death of Arabian pearl divers. The cloth in this environment moves in an exceptional way that almost feels alive. The surface of the water; In darkness, seems like a mirror to the soul of the subject. The skeleton adds contrast and represent death as a symbol of the struggle for the divers dilemma of life and death .

The Burqa is meant as decoration for the face, to beautify the woman beneath – not to suppress or hide a woman’s features. In this age of globalization where western values influence the Arabic way of life, forcing alien ideals on the culture of this region, it is possible that the burqa will naturally fall into disuse

Nurturing Artists

In the “Nurturing Artists” series of images, Osborne portrays fellow artists by capturing shadows of their body language, tools and work in a photogram. This work pays homage to early photographer Anna Atkins work capturing plants and flowers in her parent’s garden using the same technique in 1842. Her shadow pictures of flowers, fern leaves and plant leaves can still be seen today in the Royal Horticultural Society collection at Kew Gardens in London.

The Tashkeel arts foundation organisation also nurtures and oversees the growth of artists and their work, and this series of images seeks to capture the depth and multifaceted attributes of fellow artists.

Each portrait is the result of a collaboration with the “sitter”. The artist’s pose, and the belongings around them tells their story, represents their character, describes how they are seen by their colleagues, but most importantly how they see themselves.

The size of each image is in part determined by the subject. However, the large size of each of these prints also references the idea that by collaborating we are all bigger together than we would be on our own.

Where then sun always shines

“Where then sun always shines” seeks to describe the thoughts and feelings that we have when we book a holiday in the sun.

Have you ever dreamed of blue skies, white fluffy clouds, or the feeling of waves lapping on your feet? Or an overwhelming desire to get away from it all? If so, then you too are on the same wavelength. Perhaps you have longed to feel sand between your toes, escape the boss, your work colleagues and simply get away from it all?

This body of work isn’t about a place. It’s about the feeling, the vision, or the emotions that we feel at the time of booking a holiday.

Christopher Osborne is a British artist who works predominantly in photography. He has printed this series of images using the historical “Cyanotype” process (invented in 1842) in order to reduce our literal interpretation, and to visually represent a dream.

Each image is handmade, perhaps paralleling our desire for escape from technology and the pressures of modern life?

Raya and Sakina

Habby Khalil heads off in a different direction with his “Raya and Sakina” series. Raya and Sakina are the perpetrators of one of the most heinous murders in modern Egyptian history. The sisters fled Upper Egypt to settle in a slum in the coastal city of Alexandria. They then turned into criminals by murdering women to steal their jewelry through attracting the victims to their home by a false promise to get goods at cheaper prices. Reaching the house, victims were drugged, choked and then buried under the tiles of the house. After committing more than 17 crimes both sisters were arrested and sentenced to death in 1921, which was the first sentence of death in modern Egyptian law issued against women. Contrary to many approaches before – dealing with the crime itself – the artists explores the execution process and sister’s different reaction; “The Silent” Raya Versus the boasted of bravery Sakina thus exploring the possibility of multiple convictions leading to the same act.

The artist explores the story in black and white symbolizing the eternal conflict and interdependence between different beliefs. The space surrounding the characters reflects their spiritual sanctuary and their inner isolation, which fostered alongside monochromatic a state of interaction between subjects and their surroundings. Using seduction, the oldest weapon of the female, in catching their victims, stripped those victims of the characteristic of femininity to leave us in a gray area. The use of clothing creates a symbolic connection to the connected fate of the two sisters, while visual symmetry invites the viewer to focus on the differences between them.

Trust, doubt, belief, the relationship between justification and action and which one precedes the other. Habby is trying to re-identify the indefinable of an old story that today become a part of the modern Egyptian folk.

Unforgettable Moments

Hamed Musharbak – text to come…


Janaina Matarazzo

Janaina has always loved animals and nature. In 2008 she moved to Botswana, Africa to escape the craziness of one of the busiest cities in the world. Spending time observing the change in seasons and with that the sporadic movement of animals, Janaina was inspired to bring these scenes to life through her photography.

She puts her trust in the animals more so than humans. She says that she is comfortable with the wild animals as she spent years observing their every movement, their body language, so that she would limit the chance of one of these extremely powerful and dangerous animals turning on her.

During this time in Botswana Janaina was involved in wildlife conservation projects. She worked with the local rural communities living on the border of the National Parks where the human & wildlife conflict takes place.

When Janaina chose to move to Botswana she knew that she was going to one of the wildest places in Africa where almost half of the countries land is wilderness.

Janaina’s photography serves to document her passion and connection with the natural world and to bring awareness to the importance of conserving the environment and the wilderness in which these animals live.

UAE Landscapes

Khaled Al Hammadi – text to come…

Nepal by Night

Sebastian Ebbinghaus uses a night time view of Nepal to convey the strange and extraordinary emotions he experienced while visiting Kathmandu.

From a Western perspective, the icons of everyday life, the language, and the religious beliefs are far from normal.

UAE Landscapes

H.E. Muhammad Ahmad Mohammad Al Murr Al Falasi (born 1955 in Dubai) is a photographer and short-story writer from the United Arab Emirates.

He has published over 15 volumes of short stories and has had two collections translated into English: Dubai Tales and The Wink of the Mona Lisa.

Al Murr graduated from Syracuse University in the United States, and has been a member of a number of UAE academic institutions and councils.[2] He is the head of the Dubai Cultural Council, recently reorganized as the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

In 2011 Al Murr was appointed to the Federal National Council’s 15th Chapter as a representative of the Emirate of Dubai, and elected uncontested as Speaker, where he served as the speaker from 2011 to 2015.

source Wikipaedia

Nepal by Night

Sebastian Ebbinghaus uses a night time view of Nepal to convey the strange and extraordinary emotions he experienced while visiting Kathmandu.

From a Western perspective, the icons of everyday life, the language, and the religious beliefs are far from normal.

Ebbinghaus keeps his camera still on a pile of bricks, against a post or on a fence as he seeks to capture more than the physicality of the county.

“Moments”, a collaborative exhibition at The Empty Quarter Gallery
6 August – 17 September 2019