The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most challenging periods for humanity in recent history. We have lost loved ones, mourned and celebrated in isolation, and our lives, to our large extent, have been put to a halt. But the pandemic has also put our personal positive attributes to the test, and through it we saw how, with the power of love, perseverance and hope, we can overcome hardships.
Before Take Off is a group exhibition that depicts the experiences and reflections of GCC artists during the global pandemic, and highlights the personal positive attributes they would like us to take with us on our next chapter: Life after the pandemic.
Curated by Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, the exhibition took place in Dubai’s Sikka Art & Design Festival 2022 and featured five GCC artists and initiatives: Ahmed Al Mahri, Leena Al Ayoobi, Humoud Al Muqbali, Ahmed Al Refaie, Shahad Nazer, in addition to a participatory art installation by Wild Arab West. Multiple themes emerge in their works, including hope, resilience, love, connection and strength.
Each room in the house was dedicated to presenting the work of one of the participating artists, who use rich palettes and multiple mediums to celebrate the personal positive attributes that have helped us endure a period of time that has left an indelible mark on all of our lives, and that has inspired us to live life, dream and achieve in spite of it.