The Art of Flow

The Art of Flow

The DP World Flow Pavilion features original artwork from students at Zayed University’s College of Arts and Creative Enterprises.

Each piece has been inspired by the creative concept of Flow, the overarching theme running through our pavilion. This theme interprets the essence of DP World’s past, present and future, and has been interpreted in a variety of styles in artwork which will remain as part of our District 2020 Legacy plan.

3D Islamic Pattern / Manipulation - Bdoor Rashidi

Islamic art portrays nature and objects in patterns, showing spiritual attributes rather than physical and material ones. My project is a 3D Islamic pattern that includes a variety of transitions. Sparsity, density, scale, movement, rotation, distortion, and continuity are a few examples of these manipulations. The colour orange is used to get things back into order. It portrays a dark-to-light transition and gradient. This project taught me about manipulating motifs, and how to improve my designs by incorporating new and innovative ideas.

Blossoming Flow - Fatema S. Alkaabi

I was inspired by the poem’s verse ‘Dipping a toe into the flow of trade,’ and the individual designs that DP World shared. I created a floral style to represent the individual blossoming into the flow. Sometimes we are at different stages in our life when we blossom. The project was made using a traditional 3D paper format that I transformed into a digital format to create a more dynamic look.

Camel Future - Peter Chanthanakone

The UAE has a rich history that includes the iconic dhows, pearl diving and the camel. The camel symbolises our rich Emirati heritage and remains intrinsic to its traditions and culture. It symbolises the way early Emiratis traveled. By digitising the camel, and changing its exterior, I highlight the future of UAE — while remembering its roots and how far we have traveled as an ultra-modern nation.

Catching the Stars - Futaim Younis Hussain

My artwork represents how the UAE has developed. I chose the colour blue to embody the theme of Flow, connecting this through the poem and overarching concept of flow.

Concept - Shaikha Alshamsi

My animation represents Flow in a form of ideas; the colour blue in the lines represents these ideas. The glow makes the artwork stand out from the background while the dark background itself shows the core of the individual.

Flow - Ameena Alnuaimi

For me, Flow was a way to express that everything has a good and bad side. Through my research of colour I found that every colour had negative and positive meanings. Using a portrait of my sister, I combined colours flowing through to symbolise the different feelings and emotions she goes through.

Changing Lives - Hamda Almannaee

An old photograph of an airplane at the Emirates airlines runway served as a focal point of my composition.

Airplanes helped propel the UAE in tourism, economy, exports — they created a lot of opportunities for other companies and businesses and expanded our diversity. The colourful lakes represent the contrails of the airplane, depicting the UAE’s past: bodies of water were used for pearl diving, fishing, and more. This also represents movement, as if the airplane is moving forward to a positive future. Another symbolism is the play on words with the feather and the airplane itself; feathers help birds fly, just as wings do for airplanes. Lastly, the moon with a sand texture; the UAE has developed into something we never imagined, but in many ways, it still stands in its roots. We cherish the desert with its purity.

The composition is a mixture of traditional art and digital art. The background is painted with watercolour, with the rest of the collage in Photoshop.

Flow - Ashwaq Al Mahri

We often forget to take breaks and take it easy on ourselves. This project represents how individuals are finding inner clarity and flow as they seek peace of mind, disconnecting from the clutter of their surroundings.

This journey begins with the sense of not fitting into your surroundings and flowing into peace — even if there are obstacles — then returning to everyone, feeling more welcome and stronger than ever before. I have represented the poem in an abstract concept. The most important part is the individuals. “Without having peace of mind, one shall not be able to step ahead.”

Flow Together - Hadeel Ahmed

As the UAE grows, many nationalities draw together, trying to maintain the shared environment that we live in. This digital drawing combines leaves that I see in the streets of the UAE with the leaves of our decorative indoor trees; the different types of leaves represent the different nationalities that live in harmony in the same environment.

I used vibrant colours to represent the summer weather that the UAE has almost all year. We flow together as one — even if we are individually different.

Flowing Love - Noora Abdulrahman

My animation demonstrates the flow of love and compassion from one person to another. I focused on representing this idea through simple shapes, to show that love and compassion can flow through the simplest actions. The animation style is also smooth and flowing; for instance, the movement of the line entering the screen, the movement of the stars in the background and even the movement of the hands.

Go with the Flow of Life - Hadeel Ahmed

Many people relate depression to emptiness, and others think of it as floating in darkness. People need solid ground to provide stability, and they search for it across the dark emptiness.

A boat can be expressed as depression, anxiety, happiness, motivation and a number of other emotions. I wanted to express the floating sensation of depression and emptiness, and experiment with the floating nature of boats — we flow with feelings all the time and go with the flow of life.

Islamic Patterns - Fatima Saleh

My piece began by thinking about Islamic patterns in a different way. I chose three different Islamic designs and started to separate them based on the main theme of ‘Flow’. I developed the designs and transformed them into a model inspired by the chain of flow; the shapes move and their size changes. This is meant to be reproduced in paper cutouts through a laser cutter, and incorporates the colours of DP World.

Islamic Patterns - Hessa Khalid

In this project, I worked with Islamic patterns as a response to the theme of ‘Flow’. I dissected one motif from the Islamic pattern to understand how Flow can be developed through basic design principles. Centering the motif, and allowing the elements to flow on the page, invites the audience to see a pattern that represents rhythm through an uninterrupted flow. The work is intended to be reproduced using the same method shown in the final pattern — paper relief, using a laser cutting machine to get an accurate scoring and also incorporating the DP World colours.

Islamic Patterns - Reem Amarri

The work is a response to the theme of Flow. I worked with Islamic patterns to create a dynamic design that represents form transition and scale transition. I explore how a design can be manipulated and morphed, and I invite an audience to see a pattern that represents rhythm through an uninterrupted flow.

Out of the Common - Lamya Issa

My work illustrates Dubai’s unique evolution as a place that is connected to many others around the world. Dubai’s influences combine the global and local, embracing many different cultures. In the piece, this is shown through Origami representations of a modernised Western culture alongside the traditional cultures of the East, filled with beauty and organic form.

Peaceful Coexistence - Maitha Juma

The United Arab Emirates is a model of peaceful coexistence between all nations and peoples, where more than 200 nationalities coexist in harmony.

Our goal is to maintain the security and safety of this society, and to accomplish the process of progress, development and production within it. This makes our country an example of a peaceful, tolerant nation that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Journey of Flow - Reem Alfalasi

My project is the ‘Journey of Flow,’ a smooth journey in all its stages. I expressed the idea in lines and linked this idea to the situation we went through: when we separate from what is around us, life becomes calmer, and we enjoy the simplest details. With union, commitment, and cooperation, we can meet again and make great memories.

The journey represents Smoothness, Commitment, Union, Memories, Freedom, and transition for the better, and have connected each term by a shot that represents it and expresses Flow. I was keen to use and implement the language of flow in a way that matches my idea by connecting the shots, as well as using the ‘Synergy’ language with which I ended my work. I focused on using smooth lines and solid background colour, using red, green, blue, and black.

Remains of History and Evolution - Noora Abdulrahman

My work comes from the line in the poem: ‘Daringly, dipping a toe into the flow of trade, changing history for good.’ My artwork uses a pattern I created to illustrate the influence of the poem and present the influences of different cultures within the world. I started from the centre of my composition, with different overlapping progressions and connections throughout history. As I worked towards the corners, I started to change some of the shapes while maintaining some others. This creates an overall feeling of familiarity around the influences of cultures and connections that have remained throughout the changes of time. The red colour showcases the strength of these influences, and the small shapes represent what is left from past cultures — which, even after years of progression, remain strong and present.

Sail to the Future - Fatma Nasser Kherbash

My digital artwork represents Flow, using the poem in a collage that tells a story of trade. Trade was one of the main sources of income to our ancestors — I added details such as the silk tali womenswear as a background, with the ocean waves, to relate to the idea of trade. The words written on the waves in Arabic calligraphy are inspired from the Flow poem: if we start from the top, the first word will be ‘the goal’; the second word ‘ancestors’ and third ‘the future’. If we put these words together, they sum up the meaning of the poem: that our ancestors worked hard towards achieving their goals and doing the impossible, and what we live in right now is the dream they worked hard to achieve. We are the future.

Sanctuary - Ruqaya Alshateri

Whilst traveling, one may feel lost at first — but soon discover rare, moonlit sightings, undiscovered lands and even new constellations of stars. You may sometimes wonder if you are dreaming, as if you are a part of a romantic poem. Upon reaching your destination you may wonder: ‘Look how far along I’ve come.’ This piece is about taking pride in your achievement — because sometimes a little distance and space brings you a sense of satisfaction.

Soulmate - Maitha Al Marzooqi

My animation project is about a ‘soulmate’. The animation represents the journey of a girl's life; every day that passes, people tell her she found her soulmate or her other half.

The first frames show how the girl passes around people, and how she integrates through them. I chose a solid black colour background, and vibrant colours for characters. The girl passes through these people, where lines represent her flow as she blends with them, and she gets out. The second part shows the girl when she’s past this stage and meets her soulmate. Here, I use vibrant rainbow colours to represent happiness and excitement — you can also see how love flows between them through heartbeat wave lines.

Synergy - Dana Saeed Almheiri

I chose the word synergy to inspire my final composition. I also used the word ‘flow’ to meditate on while composing this artwork. I added elements such as an organic shape as the main focus, giving the appearance of it stretching and folding onto itself. Added strings and threads of blue paint give an impression of continuous flow. Graphite, soft pastels and watercolour media are layered so their different textures create dimensionality. The viewer can experience a flow of meditation within the confines of the continuous lines.

Souq Digital Printmaking Class, Abu Dhabi Campus

This piece is an installation of hand-printed traditional engravings: 100 18x18 cm prints installed together to create a flow pattern. These explore the DP World poem’s themes of maritime trade, the souk, evolution and change. As the ‘portal ‘twixt east and west’, the Emirati souk was the connecting point where trade flowed across continents. It is also the portal between the past and the present, as the UAE is a global innovator with a rich heritage and a synergy of the old and the new.

These prints are intended to be used as a large-scale installation depicting both the past and the present, using old and new technology. Each student from the printmaking class behind these works chose an item that would have been traded at a souk, ranging from the traditional to modern. Objects chosen include jewellery, daggers, weavings, cassette tapes, carpets, stamps, and lanterns. They made a digital artistic interpretation of their object, often abstracting it or turning it into a pattern. These images will be hand-printed on an etching press in multiple colours and then installed in the wall in a flow pattern.

Synergy - Latifa Al Hassan

I enjoy creating drawings that allow the viewer to interpret their own meaning. Art is meant to be expressive, and artists should face no limitations to what they are capable of producing. I chose to represent ‘Synergy’ since there are endless possibilities to explore with it, and I could freely experiment with ink splatters, charcoal mark making, and a hint of a light blue gouache coat. Furthermore, I created an expressive drawing which contains various elements such as straight lines and organic forms throughout. Although most of the elements appear to be random and out of place, they contain a sense of harmony, where different elements come together to create a completely new identity. Upon closer inspection, various lines appear to take form and the viewer is able to see figures of animals, while other lines appear to display a sense of different objects that move across the paper and leave their trails behind.

Synergy - Maryam Abdulrahman

I have made a dimensional background with watered-down ink and cut-out paper, giving an illusion of shadows and dimensions. I repeated this effect with willow charcoal so that the piece can have different mediums. The red line emerges from different sides of the paper, adding volume to the charcoal line and giving a look of flowing movement.

Synergy - Shaikha Mubarak

Drawing expresses certain emotions and feelings through different shapes, line weights, texture and colours. This gives the artist the freedom to be creative and use whatever is available to convey whatever it is they desire. Making marks can be expressive, rhythmic or chaotic — or even all these things at once. This piece channels the concept of Synergy: a word that means interaction, and the coming together of two or more elements to form something even stronger and more meaningful. To show Synergy in this contemporary art piece, I have used lines of different weights to show strands or threads, which intertwine and lace together to represent the combining and connecting of ideas, thoughts, people and more.

The City of Merchants - Fatma Alhami

The DP World poem opened my eyes to various meanings of Flow, and I focused on one: ‘The City of Merchants’. My collage expresses the meaning of flow by combining principles of design: tension, and the overlapping of the lines that are dropping from the top and connecting to the buildings of Dubai that represent the ‘City of Merchants.’ DP World focuses on the flow of merchandise in the region, so I wanted to bring this into my collage by having the drooping lines connected to the buildings. Additionally, I added shapes that were created by the lines to relate it to Dubai, since it is a fast-growing city: the shapes are expanding because of the lines, which shows that Dubai has many opportunities for all visitors and citizens.

The Flow of Time - Sundos Alsheeebani

Flow is defined as ‘the movement of something in one direction’. This definition could also be applied to time. I chose the concept of time in relation to flow because we are living in a changing world. Time repeats itself every day but in a different space and shape. No day is the same as another; no year and decade are the same; no civilisation resembles another. The concept of changing time is presented through different clock shapes drawn within a dynamic rhythm where time is flowing in one direction to reach the only end we know. The colour black was chosen for the background to connote the unknown that is accompanied by time. Red, shown at 12 o’clock presents the inevitable end that we all share, drawn in a perfect circle.

The Marvelous Growth - Suad Al Younes

I have created a sense of movement in my artwork by directing the viewer’s eyes towards the middle, creating a visual weight. As the eye scans to reach the top and bottom, it starts ‘evolving and growing’ — showing the theme of how our ancestors were able to conquer the impossible by hard work. This shows a great sense of flow and change over the years.

Towards Flow - Maram Alshahrani

In my artwork, the concept of Flow is shown by a couple of long strings of satin ribbon. The letters intertwine and attach to one another as they spell out the poem.

This poem was the main inspiration for the flow in my artwork and inspires the choice of placement for every word on the piece.

Visualizing Flow in the Past and Future - Peter Chanthanakone

This animation was developed to visualise different genres from traditional music, and a past that included pearl farmers, to a future with international flair, with high-energy electronic dance music.

The animation was procedurally created allowing the animation to respond to the music by frequency and amplitude.

Weaving Flow - Aisha Dahham Almazrouie

My illustration is based on the concept of Flow. It represents the synergy and connection of flow in nature, where humans can find inspiration in our own state of flow.

I was inspired by key words and phrases of the DP World poem, such as ‘portal,’ ‘Growing’ and ‘A Great Flow’. I imagined these as strings, weaving themselves together to create a great stream that links different portals. As a kid when we went camping, my grandpa used to get a stick and start drawing stories in the sand. The sand was his canvas and the stick was his brush. He would create lines that would weave into each other. To me they looked magical, and it's what inspired me. Some of the key components are natural elements like fire, water, trees, and plants. The centre of the composition has warm colours to represent the centre of the Earth, surrounded by the forms of life it creates. To me, humanity and nature are connected in a harmonious life cycle: one can't be without the other.