Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Local artists join Al Noor students to create ‘special’ art

Here's a special project I just saw in the inbox - happened last month, but the initiative is not only unique but very noteworthy:

Finished artwork to be displayed at DUCTAC will embody attitudes, interests, behavioural patterns & emotional responses of special needs children
A unique initiative this summer will see talented local artists work with children from Al Noor Centre for Children with Special Needs. Throughout the summer, artists will interact closely with children to produce artwork inspired by the children that will form part of a subsequent exhibition at DUCTAC’s Gallery of Light. On July 5th, a diverse group of six artists made the first of what will be many visits to Al Noor to introduce themselves to the staff and students and spend quality time with the children, at times communicating only through art.

“The aim of the project is to reproduce the creative ideas of the Al Noor students. Initially the artists plan to get to know the children and understand their attitudes, interests, behavioural patterns, emotional responses and convey those individual traits on to canvass. It is a chance for the artists who have a love for art, and a passion for being artists to reveal their social conscience - it is a unique and rewarding challenge for all,” said DUCTAC’s Fathima Mohiuddin, the organiser of the project.

The children range from five years up to those in their teens. Some can only express themselves non-verbally, but they all share a compassion and energy for art, creativity, design and colour. The end result will be a collaboration of creative ideas, reproduced by the artists. “For the children, the opportunity to interact with creative individuals other than Al Noor staff and students is very exciting. It not only broadens their social circle, it embodies their creative thoughts,” added Mohiuddin.

To get to know an individual in a short period of time and attempt to embody their thoughts in a piece of art will be a memorable task. Each artist’s approach will be entirely unique - Karen Dias, a photographer, plans to provide children with disposable cameras to capture their surroundings as a part of her piece.
“Being with the children has taught me that one’s time and support is so much appreciated, it goes such a very long way. Everybody benefits here – it’s good for the soul”, commented Guillermo Munro, another one of the artists. The finished artworks will be displayed in an exhibition in the Gallery of Light at DUCTAC, later this year with the proceeds going to worthy local charities. For DUCTAC the project is yet another example of nurturing an appreciation for the arts in the local community. This summer the Al Noor project demonstrates how art is as much about visiting galleries and taking classes as it is about interaction and dialogue and bringing people together, concluded Mohiuddin.

About Al Noor Centre for Children with Special Needs
Al Noor is a Centre for Children with Special Needs run under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs. It is passionately committed to helping special needs children from their infancy to adulthood, its goal being to integrate its students into society.

Al Noor Training Centre opened its doors in 1981 and has been developing its training programme to ensure that the Special Children it caters to, receive quality and enriching experiences towards a more independant and functional life.
Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Wife of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai has given her kind support and guidance. This has widened future horizons and renewed the commitment to work and strive towards providing the best possible service to the Special Needs community in U.A.E.

Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre (DUCTAC) aims to contribute to the creative and cultural development of Dubai by presenting and hosting a programme of events and participatory activities for Dubai’s many multi-national communities and visitors alike.

The Theatre & Arts Centre is the first modern, non-profit, cross-community creative centre in the Gulf. This flagship project was the brainchild of local theatre-lovers, arts enthusiasts, artists and business people who recognised the need for an entertainment and educational centre for the community and future generations of Dubai.

The Centre was officially opened on 1 November 2006 by HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre does not receive any funding. It relies on the generous support of Sponsors and Patrons, and on income generated through the hire of its facilities. The Centre is currently fundraising to support its artistic programme, educational and outreach work.

Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre is located on Level 2 of The Mall of The Emirates.

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