Tashkeel presents Telling Tales by Debjani Bhardwaj to mark the culmination of her participation in the fourth edition of Tashkeel’s Critical Practice Programme. Having worked with mentors Les Bicknell and Hassan Meer over the last year, Bhardwaj chose to examine the parallels between the contemporary human condition and the traditional folk tales of the UAE and Oman.

An exploration of the radical potential of paper, the body of work consists of intricate drawings, tunnel books and installations – an alternate universe of narratives that provide moral guidance, motivation and inspiration, inhabited by characters from traditional stories of the UAE and Oman. Bhardwaj relishes the transformative process that comes from the seemingly laborious act of cutting paper, believing that the minimalism and fragility of her practice enables her to ‘think with her hands’, presenting infinite possibilities.

"Fluctuating between the real and the imagined, these delicate creations probe into the precarious line between the possible and impossible… " Debjani Bhardwaj.


Saturday Storytelling

22 September | 10 – 11 AM
29 September | 10 – 11 AM
6 October | 10 – 11 AM
Admission free
Children and adults (all children should be accompanied)

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin. Join us on a journey into Emirati and Omani folklore. Draw as you listen to the myths and legends that appear in Debjani Bhardwaj’s incredible artworks.

Saturday Screenings

22 September | 11 AM – 12 PM
29 September | 11 AM – 12 PM
6 October | 11 AM – 12 PM
13 October | 11 AM – 12 PM
20 October | 11 AM – 12 PM
27 October | 11 AM – 12 PM
Admission Free
Children and adults (all children should be accompanied)

The pioneering films of Lotte Reiniger brought the magic of silhouette puppetry to the silver screen. Come and watch just a few of the 60 animated films she created in her lifetime, including Aladdin & The Magic Lamp (1954) Snow White & Rose Red (1954) and Cinderella (1922).

Tunnel Vision

22 September | 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Debjani Bhardwaj
Fees: 150 (excluding VAT)
Age group: 17+

Tunnel books are a series of pages that are held together by folded strips of paper, giving the illusion of depth and perspective. ‘Telling Tales’ artist Debjani Bhardwaj will teach the art of papers cuts so that each participant can draw, cut and create their own four-layer tunnel book. Suitable for adults.


23 September, 6 – 9 PM
Debjani Bhardwaj
Fees: 75 (excluding VAT)
Age group: 17+

Using the art of silhouette, paper cuts and handmade books, work with ‘Telling Tales’ artist Debjani Bhardwaj to build your very own Tinderbox story that you can take home and share with loved ones.

After School Arts Club

25 September, 4 – 5.30 PM
Debjani Bhardwaj
Fees: 50 (excluding VAT)
Age group: 8 – 14 years

‘Telling Tales’ artist Debjani Bhardwaj introduces the traditional technique of silhouette portraiture (a popular way to recreate an image before the arrival of photography). Work with cutting paper, collage and drawings to create beautiful and unique portraits that you can take home. Suitable for adults.

Shadow Play

26 September, 6 – 9 PM
Instructor: Debjani Bhardwaj
Fees: 75 (excluding VAT)
Age group: 17+

Shadow play is an ancient form of storytelling, which uses cut-out figures that are held between a light source and a translucent screen. Working in small groups, join ‘Telling Tales’ artist Debjani Bhardwaj to produce a scripted story, which will be used to develop puppets and scenes. Each group will then film and narrate their puppets to create a digital masterpiece! Suitable for adults.

Garden Sails

29 September | 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Debjani Bhardwaj
Fees: 150 (excluding VAT)
Age group: 17+

What does it mean to be in a place, to look through and into something, to remove the frame from a picture? Telling Tales’ artist Debjani Bhardwaj will guide you to construct drawings that will act as a record of your visit to Tashkeel. There will be drawing and collecting of materials to use in developing intricate paper cuts and stencils that form part of a collective installation.

About Debjani Bhardwaj

Debjani Bhardwaj became a full-time artist in 2008. She holds a MA Fine Arts from the University for the Creative Arts, UK. Working with hands fascinates her and she prefers, analogous, labour, intensive methods of creating. A visual storyteller, she expresses herself through sculpture, illustration, papercuts and printmaking. Her first solo exhibition was ‘Spindle Shuttle Needle’ (Tashkeel, 2011) followed by ‘Telling Tales’ (Tashkeel, 2018) as a part of Critical Practice Programme. She...

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Exhibited Artworks