The Critical Practice Programme is a professional development programme for UAE arts practitioners. For the fifth edition, Tashkeel selected Jalal Bin Thaneya, Chafa Ghaddar, and Silvia Hernando Alvarez, who will each embark on a journey of research, mentoring and experimentation, culminating in public outcomes at Tashkeel in 2019 and 2020.

Each programme is carefully constructed and built around the individual candidates’ practices and/or area of research. Tashkeel works with the artist to identify a key collaborator/mentor to build, challenge and work with them through the programme. This collaborator can be an artist, curator, critic or arts professional with whom the artist feels both comfortable working but also whose own area of research and/or practice ties in with the proposed programme and intended areas of focus.

The aim of the programme is to provide the artist with sustained and empowering support to develop their work in an environment that encourages progressive experimentation, cross-discipline exchange and cross-cultural dialogue. The curation of the courses remain responsive to the social, cultural and political contexts inherent in Dubai and the wider Middle East.

During the Critical Practice Programme 19

  • Jalal plans to go beyond barriers and bring to the general public the world of industry.
  • Chafa intends to contextualise and critique her own practice while challenging herself with new techniques and exploring and use of walls and surfaces as a medium.
  • Silvia hopes to develop a project examining imaginary territories through photo-based materials and installation.


Flounder Lee
Mentor (Jalal Bin Thaneya)

Flounder Lee is an artist/curator/educator living in the UAE where he is an Associate Professor of Studio Art at American University in Dubai. He received his BFA from the University of Florida and his MFA from California State University Long Beach, both in studio art and photography. He has curated many exhibitions such as Double Vision and Mapable. Flounder’s work has been shown extensively including Barcelona Art Contemporani 11; Transvideo-Borderless Image in Finland; and Sikka Art Fair in Dubai.

For the last decade, several overlapping themes have run throughout his work: postcolonialism, mapping, travel, and environmental change. He uses various media such as photo, video, performance, sound, and installation to create work that engages viewers in important topics. Videos or photos are often shown in grids, sometimes overlaid on antique maps. Holdovers from his first major of aerospace engineering, rules and preset conditions are common in his practice. Many of the same topics and media are also part of his curatorial practice.

Jassim Al Awadhi
Mentor (Jalal Bin Thaneya)

Jassim Al Awadhi was born in Dubai 1961, and is considered among the first Emirati Photographers. He graduated with a Masters in Photography from Nottingham Trent University, UK in 1999 and a B.A in Fine Arts from University of Dayton, Ohio, USA in 1985.

Jassim spent more than 20 years as a crime scene photographer, which marked his work with special features that combines contemporary and documentary nature. His work has been seen in numerous exhibitions in the UAE and abroad.

Jassim worked at the College of Fine Arts in Sharjah University from 2004 to 2007. He is affiliated with several arts and cultural associations in the UAE namely the Science Club, Fine Art Society and Science and Culture Association. He is also the Founder and Chairman of UAE Photography Club in Sharjah and Dar Ibin Al Haitham Photography Club in Bastekeyah, Dubai.

Since 2010, Jassim has participated as the head of the photography awards jury for the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Photography Competition and Fujairah Photography Award. He is also a jury member in several contests such as The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Awards (HIPA) 2015.

Isaac Sullivan
Mentor (Silvia Hernando Alvarez)

Isaac Sullivan (b. 1980, USA) is a Dubai-based artist and writer exploring technology and its relationship to altered perceptions of time through performance, installation, video and sonic intervention. Recent exhibitions include Personal Structures, a 2019 Venice Biennale collateral hosted by the European Cultural Centre; 2018 Tashkent Biennale; and Beirut Design Week, among others. Sullivan is currently Assistant Professor of Visual Art at Zayed University in Dubai, where his research interests include artificial intelligence, cartography, and reverberation. His performances, which often incorporate sound, include 58th Venice Biennale; KED, Beirut; Cuadro Gallery, Dubai; Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE; and DIVE x Fabrika, Tbilisi. He has been featured in various publications including Canvas magazine, Quarterly West, and 1913: A Journal of Forms.

Current Participants

Opening Hours

Tashkeel Alserkal
Gallery, Unit 26, FN Designs, Alserkal Avenue
Sun-Thu 10am – 7pm, Fri 9am–12pm
(closed Saturdays & public holidays).

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Sat-Thu 10am – 7pm
(closed Fridays & public holidays).

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Nad Al Sheba 1
Temporarily closed for renovation

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