Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Sense of Sight

Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai and Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC) proudly opened the ‘Sense of Sight’ photography exhibition Wednesday February 3rd, showcasing eight emerging local photographers based in the UAE. Images of aliens, phantoms, bugs and peacock feathers were all incorporated into the show, which opened with cocktails for guests and the opportunity to meet with the participating photographers and view their work, in addition to several members of Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai management and staff. The exhibition will run until February 24th and the photographs will be judged by a panel of experts and the winner awarded a prize of AED 10,000.

Riad Mahfouz, Mona Shihabi (Chief Finance Officer, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai), Pat Simons (Chief Nurse & Operating Officer, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai), Dr.Edmondo Borasio (Consultant Corneal and Refractive Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai) and Dr. Renata Puertas (Consultant Glaucoma Surgeon, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai)

The works of Karen Dias, Kahlil A. de Pio, Omar Ibrahim, Jalal Abuthina, Altamash Urooj, Hind Mezaina, Zarina Fernandes and Kamil Roxas proved to be a hit among the art enthusiasts and community members who attended the event. This project allowed the photographers the freedom to explore and present through their lenses their interpretation of common eye diseases including hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, cataracts and Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) using people, places, animate/inanimate objects in their everyday surroundings.

Altamash Urooj, one of the participating photographers at the exhibition said; “We owe it to society as artists to be a part of positive growth and change. The importance of vision is very close to me as a photographer and I am humbled to be a part of a movement to bring awareness through art about the importance of medical attention for vision.”

Fellow exhibiting photographer, Kahlil A. de Pinto, depicted a girl becoming blind and then visualizing her life through memories of her sister. His work (My sister and I) comprises of individual images shot, handpainted and then reassembled as a single image, to suggest a patchwork of memories stitched together without any visual sense.

He was inspired by the idea of ‘phantom limbs’, where the mind perceives a part of the body which no longer exists; losing vision but retaining visual memories. The idea came about through discussions with experts at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai. His project took around three weeks to complete.

The exhibition aims to emphasize the importance of vision awareness and the many vision related problems that regularly go undetected. Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai hopes through this exhibition to encourage people to get regular vision screening to test for these common eye diseases which affect many people.

Addressing guests at the opening of the exhibition, Dr Edmondo Borasio, Consultant Corneal and Refractive Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, said “As a consultant surgeon, it is fascinating to see how these talented photographers have artistically interpreted a variety of vision related medical conditions. The support for the opening was overwhelming and our thanks to all those participating photographers and to DUCTAC for hosting this unique exhibition.”

Emma Haggerty, Marketing officer of Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre, comments: “We had a large turnout at the opening which is excellent. It is great to see people who are interested not only in learning more about vision impairments but hopefully appreciating the unique talents of these gifted photographers””.

Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre is the first modern, non profit, cross-community multi-art form creative centre in the Gulf. The Centre was officially opened on 1 November 2006 by Honorary Patron HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Located on Level 2 of Mall of the Emirates, the Centre occupies around 80,000 square feet and includes a 543-seat theatre, 200-seat studio theatre, art gallery, dance studios, rehearsal rooms, artists’ studios, classrooms, mosaic and pottery workshops, and food and beverage facilities. Also on site is the Centre For Musical Arts, The Old Library and Arts Materials Shop.

The Centre is host to some 100 classes a week, local, national and international shows, artists, productions and performances. Facilities are available for hire performances, seminars, workshops and presentations.

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.

About Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai

Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai (MEHD) is the first overseas branch of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the oldest and one of the largest centres for ophthalmic treatment, teaching and research in the world. Located at the Al Razi Medical Complex in Dubai Health Care City, the facility provides daycase surgery and outpatient diagnostic and treatment services, for a variety of surgical and non-surgical eye conditions. MEHD will also raise standards for research and teaching in the region through its partnership with the Harvard Medical School Dubai Center. MEHD is owned and managed by the NHS Foundation Trust, and maintains close links with London, including a telelink with sophisticated videoconferencing technology, to ensure that patients in the GCC receive the best eye care treatment in the world.

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