Sumayyah Al Suwaidi is an Emirati artist currently based in Abu Dhabi. She is one of the most prominent and established Emirati artist and curator. Al Suwaidi has been awarded multiple times for her impeccable work, and has exhibited her art all over the world. Additionally, her work was auctioned by Christie’s as part of the Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art, as well as exhibited by Sotheby’s Galleries in London.
The Arte&Lusso team had the pleasure of interviewing her, after attending her latest exhibition at the Embassy of Mexico in Abu Dhabi, and appreciating her remarkable artwork.
Could you tell us about your art? What inspires your pieces?
What inspires my pieces is my daily life, everything I go through that makes me feel the need to exhale as my paintings are like my daily diary where I exhale everything I have inhaled during my day.
What is your creative process like?
It starts with an idea then I imagine how its going to be after that I sketch it and then I start working on it on my computer, I base my paintings on photographs, so I work on the collage first and then I repaint it using painting software and my pen and tablet.
Do you consider Emirati culture a key theme in your artwork?
I don’t have a specific theme, I only paint what I feel like and I don’t normally work on traditional or political nor religions concepts, but I do work sometimes on cultural paintings depending on the occasion.
We know you also curate art exhibitions, what kind of art do you focus on?
I don’t pin myself on a type of art because since 2007 until today I have curated many exhibitions based on so many themes, so it all depends on the topic and the client. One of my favorite exhibitions is the one I participated in at Sotheby’s in London.
You will be part of a group exhibition at the Embassy of Mexico in Abu Dhabi, what works will you showcase?
My digital paintings that have elements of nature which is the theme of the exhibition.
How has your experience as a female artist in the UAE been?
It has been great so far and it will just continue to grow as the country continues to develop and become a hub for the Arts.
The UAE supports its talents not only the Emiratis but also the residents in showcasing their talents in many occasions and commissioning them for art pieces to be displayed in various events and prominent locations. One of the government entities that is always supportive is Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, as it not only commission artists and display their works internationally, but also sponsor their higher education so the Artists can excel in their career.Artist Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, on how the UAE helps artists
Do you believe art can serve as a cultural bridge?
Yes for sure, art is a universal language, people from all races and walks of life can relate to and have conversations and this opens opportunities of dialogue between people from all over the world and cultural exchange.
What are your thoughts about this event taking place at the Mexican Embassy?
I believe it is very important for more embassies to do the same especially now during this pandemic when hopes are low and artists are in need for support and having the spotlight on them so they can shine.
You know the art scene in the UAE like very few people do, how can you say it has evolved and what trends can you predict for the years to come?
The UAE art scene has definitely evolved because more art galleries are opening now and there are more art festivals and events and from my experience, I can see the trend of art commissions is going to be more and bigger in the UAE as we have been used to it now, but the difference is that we will be commissioning more art from Emirati and residents Artists unlike the past when we were more dependent on international Artists.
If you’d like more information about Sumayyah Al Suwaidi’s latest exhibition, click ‘Embassy of Mexico Art Exhibition: An Introspective Look at Nature’ or follow @arte8lusso on Instagram for the latest art news!
To follow the artist on Instagram: @sumayyahalsuwaidi