Outstanding photography by three freshman students and two faculty members from the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) features in this year’s iteration of Vantage Point Sharjah, an annual photography exhibition organized by Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF).
In its sixth year, Vantage Point Sharjah 6 (VPS6) aims to highlight regional talent by encouraging photography enthusiasts from across the GCC to submit works based on a selected theme. The most impressive works have been selected by a panel, culminating in an exhibition in the SAF art spaces at Al Mureijah.
The 10 works created by five members of the AUS creative community reflect this year’s theme – ”Performance” – selected from a large volume of submissions by photographers with a variety of skills, interests and backgrounds. In previous editions, Vantage Point Sharjah has received over 200 submissions, shortlisting only 60 selected photographers each year.
AUS architecture students, Sarah Al-Dulaimi, Hind Abusnana and Malak Al Hawmadeh, along with their Foundations Program instructor, Selma Ćatović Hughes, and Juan Roldan, Assistant Professor of Interior Design, were all chosen to participate in the exhibition.
The students’ work came together during the rigorous first year Foundation Program at CAAD which provides students with a highly interactive introduction to the fundamentals of fine art and design theory and practice. The Foundations Program is mandatory for all first year CAAD students before they continue on to full degree programs in areas such as architecture, interior design, design management and visual communication.
Encouraged by Bosnian-born instructor, Ćatović Hughes, the three students submitted work they had created as part of the intensive Foundations Program.
“Sarah, Hind, and Malak were in my design studio in the Spring semester and when VPS6 had the open call for works by GCC-based photographers, I encouraged them to use some of their visual compositions and submit them as a group,” Ćatović Hughes said.
“Additionally, I submitted my own personal work to VPS6 and it has been selected as well, so it is double the excitement!” she said.
The two works by Ćatović Hughes, entitled “01 Concealed” and “02 Concealed,” explore the fine line between literal and phenomenal beauty. Through the use of simple materials such as newspaper, tissue paper and newsprint, the images depict the ritual of veiling and unveiling, and provide a social commentary on the traditional and modern, suitable and inappropriate, concealed and revealed.
Iraqi-British student, Sarah al Dulaimi, exhibits her image entitled “Blink,” which explores the action of blinking as a time-space event. Originally developed in a variety of media, Dulaimi chose to create a photomontage for her submission to VPS6.
Student Hind Abusnana, who is originally from Libya but was brought up in the United Kingdom and Sharjah, was pleasantly surprised to have her work selected for exhibition. Her work, entitled “Flame” is a cohesive collection of posters created using stop motion and Photoshop and captures the moment of change where the mist from an aerosol can meets a flame.
In her exhibition debut, Jordanian student Malak Al Hawmadeh displays the playful montage, entitled “Burst.” Al Hawdameh created her submission by taking successive photographs of a bursting water balloon, emphasizing the mesmerizing change within the split-second event.
Finally, Assistant Professor of Interior Design at CAAD since 2013, Spanish-born Juan Roldán has four of his works presented as part of VPS6.
Inspired by Italian artist and architect Ugo La Pietra’s own performance pieces, Roldán’s works explore the theme “Appropriations of the City: Domesticated Landscapes.” The four images feature scenes of domestic rituals performed in urban or public spaces, confirming La Pietra’s motto that “inhabiting is feeling at home anywhere.”
Vantage Point Sharjah 6 is a free exhibition open to the public until September 8, in Sharjah Art Foundation’s contemporary art galleries, Gallery 1 and 2 at Al Mureijah Square.