Ellington Art Foundation announces winners of ‘The Arts of The Silk Road’ competition

Winning Entry: Best in sculpture & installation – “A Piece of Transparent History”, conceptualised by Jacky Tang & Yazeed Obeid.

Ellington Art Foundation announces winners of ‘The Arts of The Silk Road’ competition

Dubai, UAE: Ellington Art Foundation, an initiative by Dubai’s leading design-led property developer Ellington Properties, has announced the winners of its Wilton Terraces Art competition – ‘The Arts of The Silk Road’ – launched at the end of last year.

Aimed at nurturing aspiring and emerging talent in the UAE, ‘The Arts of The Silk Road’ competition received significant interest with submissions from over 150 artists, photographers and designers under various categories including paintings, photographs, sculptures, and installation, and mixed media.

Ellington Properties has announced the three commission winners, who will receive a premium, permanent exhibition space at its award-winning residential projects, Wilton Terraces, in addition to financial rewards to craft their masterpieces. The winners under each category are:

·         Best in sculpture & installation (lobby installation) – Jacky Tang & Yazeed Obeid; The conceptualised installation named ‘A Piece of Transparent History’, captures the movement along the trading route and its design draws inspiration from three main notions related to silk road – Myth (the floating carpet), carpets and textile, intricate geometric patterns and ornamentations.

·         Best in painting - Alexandru Danu, Abstract Artist; A series of abstract paintings inspired by the palette of colours of the items traded on the silk road, offering a visual narrative of how these items resemble the human connection through various cultures.

·         Best in photography – Paul-Vlad Epure, Landscape & Portrait Photography Artist; Photographs illustrating beauty of the desert and its multi-coloured hues, textures, and patterns.

Keeping in line with the themes of the competition, the winning entries demonstrated inspiring creativity in showcasing the Silk Road through abstract formats – installation, painting, and photography. Each entry was reviewed and ranked on the base of 10 key criteria including meeting the competition theme and colour scheme, originality, quality of the composition, concept behind the piece, the mood it creates, the story it tells, long-term value of that concept, craftsmanship and technique used, the wow factor and emotional impact it has on its audience.

All entries were reviewed by a panel of industry veterans including Juan Roldan, AUS Associate Professor; Esra Lemmens, Art Director; Louise Duggan, Art Consultant; Robert Booth, Managing Director, Ellington Properties; and Laura Bielecki, Group Design Director, Ellington Properties.

Laura Bielecki said: “It was a pleasure to see the rich and diverse submissions put before the judges – truly an abstract array of the Silk Road concept by many known and emerging talents. The level of thought and detail put into the custom sculpture submissions is impressive. We thank all the artists who submitted their concepts and look forward to seeing the winning designs come to life. We will continue to host future competitions and commissions through the Ellington Art Foundation initiative.”

Juan Roldan said: “It is more than an honour to have been part of the judging process for Ellington Art Foundation, a company where design is not just an add-on but an honest part of their DNA. Design is one of the driving elements to any of their buildings and spaces, and ‘Live in Design’ becomes a real motto at Ellington. The proposals were remarkable, and I am looking forward to seeing the final pieces installed.”

Esra Lemmens said: "Going through the submissions felt like a true celebration of the city's vibrancy. Tapping into the local talent pool of Middle East based existing and emerging artists is vital for the evolution of our cultural climate. Recognising these talented individuals and their work combined with fostering opportunities for them to get their work commissioned is a vital part of that. We looked for talented individuals who can interpret the long-revered stories of ancient cultures, explore new civilisations and translate these into contemporary works that stand the test of modern times. Seeing such a great number of submissions and a generous variety of works underlines the richness of our creative industry. This is something we should all be very proud of.”

‘The Arts of The Silk Road’ competition was hosted in line with Ellington Art Foundation’s goal of promoting the UAE’s creative scene and supporting the nation’s vision to be a global centre for art and design. Since the foundation’s inception, over 400 pieces of art forms including photography, paintings, sculptures, and installations have been commissioned to regional aspiring and recognised artists.

Some of the art installations and pieces curated and commissioned as part of the initiatives include Emirati artist Khalid Shafar’s sculpture – Palm Bouquet in the reception lobby of Belgravia; Hamama, a suspended art installation created by design students of the American University of Sharjah at Belgravia II; ‘V’, a wooden wall sculpture made of recycled construction materials by Nour Daou in Eaton Place; and ‘The Levitate’ a suspended installation by Neel Shukla at DT1. For further details visit Ellington Art Foundation.