Dubai - Spot new tolerance mural, steel pipe art at Dubai's Deira market

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - From left, Central Manager of The Dubai Waterfront Market, Mohammad Almadani, Sculpturist Spencer James Hogg, CEO of The Waterfront Market, Issam Galadari, Sculpturist, John Paul Atillano Faderogao and Executive Director of Ithra Dubai, Lachlan Gyde pose for a group photo.-Photo by Neeraj Murali

One is a mural of a young Emirati boy learning about the history of the UAE.

Shoppers were recently surprised at the Waterfront Market in Deira as they were greeted with two new striking artworks: One is a mural of a young Emirati boy learning about the history of the UAE, and the other is an unusual steel pipe art installation depicting the word 'Allah'.

The two masterpieces were the winning entries of a community-focused competition organised by the Waterfront Market and supported by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. This is the market's second murals and art competition, following the success of last year's creative contest that aims to inspire the community and budding artists throughout the region.

This time, the challenge revolved around the Year of Tolerance.

Filipino artist John Paul Faderogao, who works as a freelance artist in Abu Dhabi, won Dh15,000 for his mural that is now on display at the market.

"I know that the UAE has a rich culture and heritage, which is an integral part of its fabric. This is why I painted a young Emirati boy in his national dress, reading about his country's culture. I also painted iconic buildings and other cultural icons," the 37-year-old artist told Al Khaleej Today.

He chose to paint a child to show how important it is for the youth to have a good knowledge of their culture so they can keep values and traditions alive, Faderogao added.

The second winning entry - for which a Dh15,000 prize was also awarded - was created by UK national Spencer James Hogg, a resident of Abu Dhabi.

He used small, symmetrical steel pipes to make a representation of the word 'Allah' in Kufic calligraphy. The art installation is then suspended with a fishing line.

"The unusual thing about this installation is that when you look at it from the side, it will look like many different shapes and forms, which is what our human race is made of - different types of people. But when you look at this installation from the front, the word Allah can be seen in Arabic language," Hogg said.

His piece also carried a moving Islamic message.

"I have also used five steel pipes to make this and the reason behind this number 'five' is that it represents the five pillars of Islam. The message through this artwork is that when Allah treats everyone the same - irrespective of race, colour, creed or status - then so should we."

Speaking about the idea behind the art competition, Issam Galadari, CEO of the Waterfront Market, said: "The Waterfront Market is Dubai's largest integrated quality fresh food destination and it is located in the heart of Dubai's oldest and historic area, Deira. Since this is a community-focused market, we wanted to involve people of all nationalities. We got around 250 entries and 600 registrations for the event that began in August this year and ended in October."

Judges - including Khalil Abdulwahid Hassan, director of fine arts department at Dubai Culture; Maitha Al Marri, one of the UAE's top visual artists; and Lachlan Gyde, executive director for retail, residential and commercial at Ithra Dubai, the manager of the Waterfront Market - were carefully chosen for their passion for the local art scene.

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