Tashkeel announces largest ever investment in professional development for the UAE art and design sector

As part of its mission to provide a nurturing environment for the growth of contemporary art and design practice in the UAE, Tashkeel announced the latest cohorts of artists and designers selected for its Critical Practice Programme (CPP) and Tanween design platform.

After receiving 75 applications to join the sixth iteration of the CPP in 2022, Tashkeel selected a record six UAE-based visual artists to receive up to one year of training, mentorship, studio support, critique, development, and artwork production, culminating in exhibitions scheduled for the second half of 2022 and into 2023. This is the largest cohort Tashkeel has ever taken for the programme.

Emirati artist Shamma Al Amri, Bahraini duo Nasser and Miriam Al Zayani, Jamal Tayara Baroudy from Lebanon, Pakistani artist Sophiya Khwaja, and Shazia Salam from India make up Tashkeel’s CPP cohort for the coming calendar year, each working with a mentor to build, challenge and guide them through the research, production and exhibition of their finished visual artwork.

“Selecting six UAE-based artists from a range of backgrounds and mediums for the 2022 Critical Practice Programme from more than 10 times that number of applicants highlights the increasing strength and diversity of the creative economy, as well as the vital need for artists to have the time, space and support to more fully develop their bodies of work,” notes Lisa Ball-Lechgar, Deputy Director of Tashkeel. “Since the programme’s launch in 2014, we are encouraged and inspired by the success that our 13 graduates have achieved, and the contributions that they have made to the region’s cultural landscape.”

Tashkeel’s Tanween design programme enters its 11th year

Tashkeel today also named the latest cohort for its Tanween design programme, which in 2021 celebrated a decade of design conceptualised and created in the Emirates, inspired by the nation’s traditional materials and techniques.

For the 2022 Tanween programme, the selected six UAE-based designers will explore the theme of sustainability and how design can help address this fundamental challenge. The selected designers are set to collaborate with engineers and scientists over the next eleven months as they research, experiment and ultimately deliver an innovative, functional design outcome with sustainability as a defining element.

Saudi Huda Al Aithan joins Emirati Reema Al Mheiri, Ebrahim Assur (South Africa) and Shaza Khalil (Egypt) and the design duo of Sara Abu Farha (Jordan) and Khaled Shalkha (Russia) making Tashkeel’s Tanween design programme cohort for 2022 the largest ever. Their materials of interest include the use of date seeds and date palm fronds, Kombucha fabric and wood to find more sustainable design practices that have commercial relevance and appeal.

“Because we mentor the selected professional designers from product concept to design to prototype and finally manufacture within the UAE, Tanween is a distinct and sought-after platform that links the traditions of the UAE with contemporary demand for sustainable pieces,” says Lisa Ball-Lechgar, Deputy Director of Tashkeel. “The creativity and innovation that the programme encourages while resulting in ever-more inventive additions to our commercial line The Tanween Collection has been a vital career development opportunity for all 35 previous participants, and our latest cohort is keen to address sustainability issues through their design practice in the coming months.”